So CNN Business decided to take a look at which stocks are looking like sweet treats, and which appear decidedly tricky.
It should come as no huge surprise that through the first 10 months of 2020, this year’s winners losers are mainly in the energy and leisure industries.
Covid-19 has led to a global economic slowdown. And that has caused oil prices to plummet and people to travel less often.
Crude awakening for energy and travel stocks
Occidental Petroleum is the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, plunging nearly 80%. Marathon Oil, Apache, Schlumberger and Exxon Mobil are also big losers in 2020, with each stock losing more than half of its value. And ExxonMobil was even dumped from the Dow after nearly a century as a component.
Lower oil prices are typically great news for cruise companies and airlines -— but not when people have stopped traveling for business or taking vacations.
Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have been decimated this year. United and Delta have plunged too, and Warren Buffett has sold his stakes in the big carriers. The slowdown in the airline industry has also hit Boeing.
Big banks have struggled, as the recession has hurt demand for loans and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts have put a dent in profit margins. Wells Fargo and Citigroup are both down sharply this year.
All told, 297 companies in the S&P 500 are in the red for 2020 through Thursday’s close — and 130 of those are down at least 25%.
Big Tech continues to dominate
There are some winners in the stock market, especially in tech. The Nasdaq has actually gained 25% this year.
And despite the pandemic and the recession, consumers are still shopping online — a lot. The top performer in the S&P 500 this year is Etsy, the arts and crafts marketplace that is one of the index’s newest members.
Shares of Etsy have surged more than 185%, valuing the 15-year-old website at more than $15 billion. The company said it sold 24 million face masks in the third quarter.
And in a sign of how the fortunes have changed in the semiconductor business, chip giants Nvidia and AMD are each among the better performers in the S&P 500 this year while Intel has plunged 25%.
There are some red-hot stocks outside of tech, too. Retailer L Brands has staged a big comeback in 2020 despite weak sales at Victoria’s Secret thanks to strength at its Bath & Body Works chain.
Biotech Regeneron is one of the top gainers in the S&P 500. The company has developed a treatment for Covid-19 that was touted by President Trump.
FedEx, Chipotle and Invisalign owner Align also rank among the best performing stocks in the S&P 500 for 2020.
But one of the strongest stocks of 2020 still isn’t in the S&P 500.
Tesla shares are up nearly 365% this year. Elon Musk’s electric car maker is now worth almost $370 billion and it has also racked up impressive earnings lately.
Maybe Musk needs to toilet paper the houses of S&P 500 index committee members.