By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch
Technology companies dominate list led by companies with potential COVID-19 drugs
Even during a brutal first quarter for the stock market, there were some winners as COVID-19 quickly changed the way people live and work in the U.S.
Thirty stocks among the S&P 500 index rose, and many of the companies are in the business of facilitating remote work, entertainment and commerce. Two of the top five gainers were the pharmaceutical companies farthest along in testing treatments for the novel coronavirus (), while a third of the total could be considered technology companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst quarter since 1987 (), and the S&P 500 index sank 20% for its worst performance since the fourth quarter of 2008.
Here's how the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 performed during the first quarter (excluding dividends), sorted from "best" to worst:
S&P 500 sector Price change - first quarter, 2020 Price change - 2019
Information Technology -12.2% 48.0%
Health Care -13.1% 18.7%
Consumer Staples -13.4% 24.0%
Utilities -14.2% 22.2%
Communication Services -17.2% 30.9%
Consumer Discretionary -19.6% 26.2%
Real Estate -19.8% 24.9%
Materials -26.6% 21.9%
Industrials -27.4% 26.8%
Financials -32.3% 29.2%
Energy -51.1% 7.6%
The information-technology sector continued to be the best-performing sector, after blowing away all the other sectors last year ().
Here are the 30 S&P 500 stocks that rose during the first quarter:
Company Ticker Price change - 2020 Price change - 2019 Industry Sector
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. US:REGN 30.0% 0.5% Biotechnology Health Care
Citrix Systems Inc. US:CTXS 27.6% 8.2% Software Information Technology
Netflix Inc. US:NFLX 16.0% 20.9% Cable/Satellite TV Communication Services
Digital Realty Trust Inc. US:DLR 16.0% 12.4% Real-estate investment Trusts Real Estate
Gilead Sciences Inc. US:GILD 15.1% 3.9% Biotechnology Health Care
Clorox Co. US:CLX 12.8% -0.4% Household/Personal Care Consumer Staples
Nvidia Corp. US:NVDA 12.0% 76.3% Semiconductors Information Technology
SBA Communications Corp. Class A US:SBAC 12.0% 48.9% Real-estate investment Trusts Real Estate
MSCI Inc. Class A US:MSCI 11.9% 75.1% Investment Managers Financials
Rollins Inc. US:ROL 9.0% -8.1% Other Consumer Services Industrials
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. US:VRTX 8.7% 32.1% Biotechnology Health Care
Equinix Inc. US:EQIX 7.0% 65.6% Real-estate investment Trusts Real Estate
T-Mobile US Inc. US:TMUS 7.0% 23.3% Wireless Telecommunications Communication Services
Biogen Inc. US:BIIB 6.6% -1.4% Biotechnology Health Care
J.M. Smucker Co. US:SJM 6.6% 11.4% Food: Specialty/Candy Consumer Staples
Jack Henry & Associates Inc. US:JKHY 6.6% 15.1% Information Technology Services Information Technology
Akamai Technologies Inc. US:AKAM 5.9% 41.4% Internet Software/Services Information Technology
Eli Lilly and Co. US:LLY 5.5% 13.6% Pharmaceuticals Health Care
Amazon.com Inc. US:AMZN 5.5% 23.0% Internet Retail Consumer Discretionary
Newmont Corp. US:NEM 4.2% 25.4% Precious Metals Materials
AmerisourceBergen Corp. US:ABC 4.1% 14.3% Medical Distributors Health Care
Kroger Co. US:KR 3.9% 5.4% Food Retail Consumer Staples
Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. US:ODFL 3.7% 53.7% Trucking Industrials
Hormel Foods Corp. US:HRL 3.4% 5.7% Food: Meat/Fish/Dairy Consumer Staples
Progressive Corp. US:PGR 2.0% 20.0% Property/Casualty Insurance Financials
Crown Castle International Corp US:CCI 1.6% 30.9% Real-estate investment Trusts Real Estate
ServiceNow Inc. US:NOW 1.5% 58.6% Information Technology Services Information Technology
DaVita Inc. US:DVA 1.4% 45.8% Medical/Nursing Services Health Care
Activision Blizzard Inc. US:ATVI 0.1% 27.6% Videogames Communication Services
Microsoft Corp. US:MSFT 0.0% 55.3% Software Information Technology
You can click the tickers for more about each company, including news coverage.
You will need to scroll the table to see all of the data.
If one uses a liberal definition for what makes a "tech company," they make up more than a third of the list. Listed "tech" companies that aren't included in the S&P 500 technology sector included Amazon.com (AMZN), which is part of the consumer discretionary sector; Netflix (NFLX) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) in the communications services sector; and Digital Realty Trust (DLR) and Equinix (EQIX), which are organized as real-estate investment trusts even though their business focus is providing data-center services.
Microsoft is at the bottom of the list, with its shares rising a penny during the first quarter to $157.71, from $157.70 on Dec. 31. Microsoft was the only component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to increase for the quarter ().
Don't miss:These 60 large U.S. companies are 'susceptible to a dividend cut,' according to Jefferies ()
-Philip van Doorn; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 01, 2020 06:37 ET (10:37 GMT)
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