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|
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%|
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.
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