These S&P 500 Stocks Have Pulled Off Comebacks From the Market Bottom in March

Etsy application is displayed on an Apple iPad

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Investors piled into Walt Disney stock on Friday following the company’s ambitious streaming-focused investor day. The stock, which closed as low as $85.86 in March, has roared back to $176.48. But among S&P 500 stocks, Disney stock’s bounce back from the March 23 bottom barely cracks the top 100.

Indeed, Disney stock’s (ticker: DIS) recent 106.5% gains since March 23 ranks no. 98 among stocks in the benchmark index. On the flip side, only Intel (INTC), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), FirstEnergy (FE), Biogen (BIIB), and Gilead Sciences (GILD) have seen their share prices drop since the market’s close on March 23.

To see which stocks have pulled off the most notable comebacks, Dow Jones Market Data screened S&P 500 index companies that have gained at least 157% since March 23 through midday Dec. 11. We also filtered out stocks that were still down year-to-date, given such jumps are only relative. Here are the top 14 stocks that fit that criteria.

Roaring Back

These 14 stocks have been the biggest winners since March 23, while still posting year-to-date gains.

Note: Prices of mid-day Friday.

Source: FactSet, Dow Jones Market Data.

A notable exception is Tesla stock (TSLA), which was excluded from the screen’s criteria because it won’t join the S&P 500 index until next week. Had it already been a part of the index, it would have led the group with a 602% jump since March 23. The stock is up 751% year-to-date. Of course, some of that highflying optimism has been chalked up to Tesla joining the index itself.

The other big winner has been another 2020 addition to the index, Etsy (ETSY), which has risen 411% since the market bottom, and 281% year-to-date. The online marketplace has seen a surge in sales amid the pandemic, with active sellers on the platform rising to 3.68 million in the third quarter of 2020, up from 2.59 million in the third quarter of 2019.

Copper-mining giant Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) took second place. In March, Barron’s reported CEO Richard Adkerson and Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Quirk made large stock purchases. The buys were well timed, with the stock soaring 355% since March 23, bringing year-to-date gains back up to 87%.

L Brands (LB), which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, recently crushed analyst estimates. After a sale of Victoria’s Secret to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners fell through last spring, the company’s shares have rallied considerably.

Other companies making the cut include Gap (GPS), Whirlpool (WHR), Eastman Chemical (EMN), and FedEx (FDX).

Write to Connor Smith at connor.smith@barrons.com