These 20 stocks were the biggest winners of what was mostly a dismal 2022


Even during a year in which the S&P 500 index declined 19%, with 72% of its stocks in the red, there were plenty of winners.

Before showing you the list of the best performers in the benchmark index, let’s look at a preview: Here’s how the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 SPX, -0.25% performed for the year:

Index 2022 price change Forward P/E Forward P/E as of Dec. 31, 2021
Energy 59.0% 9.7 11.1
Utilities -1.4% 18.9 20.4
Consumer Staples -3.2% 21.0 21.8
Health Care -3.6% 17.6 17.2
Industrials -7.1% 18.3 20.8
Financials -12.4% 11.9 14.6
Materials -14.1% 15.8 16.6
Real Estate -28.4% 16.5 24.2
Information Technology -28.9% 20.1 28.1
Consumer Discretionary -37.6% 21.3 33.2
Communication Services -40.4% 14.3 20.8
S&P 500 -19.4% 16.8 21.4
Source: FactSet

Maybe you aren’t surprised to see that the energy sector was the only one to increase during 2022. But it might surprise you to see that despite the sector’s weighted price increase of 59%, its forward price-to-earnings ratio declined and remains very low relative to all other sectors.

It might also surprise you that West Texas Intermediate crude oil CL.1, +2.69% gave up most of its gains from earlier in the year:


The reason investors are still confident in energy stocks is that oil producers have remained cautious when it comes to capital spending. They don’t want to increase supply enough to cause prices to crash, as they did in the run-up to the summer of 2014, after which prices fell steadily through early 2016, causing bankruptcies and consolidation in the industry.

Now the oil companies are focusing on maintaining supply, raising dividends and buying back shares, as Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s OXY, +1.14% chief executive explained in a recent interview with Matt Peterson. Click here for more about Occidental and the long-term supply/demand outlook for oil.

Best-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2022

Here are the 20 stocks in the benchmark index that rose most during 2022, excluding dividends. Proving that there are always exceptions, not all of them are in the energy sector.

Company Ticker Sector Industry 2022 price change
Occidental Petroleum Corp. OXY, +1.14% Energy Oil & Gas Production 117.3%
Hess Corp. HES, +0.68% Energy Oil & Gas Production 91.6%
Marathon Petroleum Corp. MPC, +0.18% Energy Oil Refining/ Marketing 81.9%
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM, +1.01% Energy Integrated Oil 80.3%
Schlumberger Ltd. SLB, +1.04% Energy Contract Drilling 78.5%
APA Corp. APA, +1.68% Energy Integrated Oil 73.6%
Halliburton Co. HAL, +1.23% Energy Oil & Gas Production 72.1%
First Solar Inc. FSLR, +0.68% Information Technology Semiconductors 71.9%
Valero Energy Corp. VLO, +0.43% Energy Oil Refining/ Marketing 68.9%
Marathon Oil Corp. MRO, +1.08% Energy Oil & Gas Production 64.9%
ConocoPhillips COP, +1.38% Energy Oil & Gas Production 63.5%
Steel Dynamics Inc. STLD, -0.72% Materials Steel 57.4%
EQT Corp. EQT, -0.12% Energy Oil & Gas Production 55.1%
Chevron Corp. CVX, +0.66% Energy Integrated Oil 53.0%
McKesson Corp. MCK, Health Care Medical Distributors 50.9%
Cardinal Health Inc. CAH, -0.46% Health Care Medical Distributors 49.3%
EOG Resources Inc. EOG, +0.69% Energy Oil & Gas Production 45.8%
Enphase Energy Inc. ENPH, -0.20% Information Technology Semiconductors 44.8%
Merck & Co. Inc. MRK, +0.12% Health Care Pharmaceuticals 44.8%
Cigna Corp. CI, +0.19% Health Care Managed Health Care 44.3%
Source: FactSet

Click on the tickers for more information about the companies.

Click here for Tomi Kilgore’s detailed guide to the wealth of information available for free on the MarketWatch quote page.

Don’t Miss: These 20 stocks were the biggest losers of 2022

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