By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch
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 /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +2.17% had its worst quarter since 1987, and the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.23% 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|
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.||/zigman2/quotes/203149337/composite REGN||30.0%||0.5%||Biotechnology||Health Care|
|Citrix Systems Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/206700852/composite CTXS||27.6%||8.2%||Software||Information Technology|
|Netflix Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX||16.0%||20.9%||Cable/Satellite TV||Communication Services|
|Digital Realty Trust Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/206785129/composite DLR||16.0%||12.4%||Real-estate investment Trusts||Real Estate|
|Gilead Sciences Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite GILD||15.1%||3.9%||Biotechnology||Health Care|
|Clorox Co.||/zigman2/quotes/206443229/composite CLX||12.8%||-0.4%||Household/Personal Care||Consumer Staples|
|Nvidia Corp.||/zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite NVDA||12.0%||76.3%||Semiconductors||Information Technology|
|SBA Communications Corp. Class A||/zigman2/quotes/208397406/composite SBAC||12.0%||48.9%||Real-estate investment Trusts||Real Estate|
|MSCI Inc. Class A||/zigman2/quotes/202905332/composite MSCI||11.9%||75.1%||Investment Managers||Financials|
|Rollins Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/206314900/composite ROL||9.0%||-8.1%||Other Consumer Services||Industrials|
|Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/202259802/composite VRTX||8.7%||32.1%||Biotechnology||Health Care|
|Equinix Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/208927761/composite EQIX||7.0%||65.6%||Real-estate investment Trusts||Real Estate|
|T-Mobile US Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/204659678/composite TMUS||7.0%||23.3%||Wireless Telecommunications||Communication Services|
|Biogen Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/201531540/composite BIIB||6.6%||-1.4%||Biotechnology||Health Care|
|J.M. Smucker Co.||/zigman2/quotes/203835894/composite SJM||6.6%||11.4%||Food: Specialty/Candy||Consumer Staples|
|Jack Henry & Associates Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/201857446/composite JKHY||6.6%||15.1%||Information Technology Services||Information Technology|
|Akamai Technologies Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/203072268/composite AKAM||5.9%||41.4%||Internet Software/Services||Information Technology|
|Eli Lilly and Co.||/zigman2/quotes/200106384/composite LLY||5.5%||13.6%||Pharmaceuticals||Health Care|
|Amazon.com Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN||5.5%||23.0%||Internet Retail||Consumer Discretionary|
|Newmont Corp.||/zigman2/quotes/205356474/composite NEM||4.2%||25.4%||Precious Metals||Materials|
|AmerisourceBergen Corp.||/zigman2/quotes/201066379/composite ABC||4.1%||14.3%||Medical Distributors||Health Care|
|Kroger Co.||/zigman2/quotes/206215053/composite KR||3.9%||5.4%||Food Retail||Consumer Staples|
|Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/205822689/composite ODFL||3.7%||53.7%||Trucking||Industrials|
|Hormel Foods Corp.||/zigman2/quotes/209170265/composite HRL||3.4%||5.7%||Food: Meat/Fish/Dairy||Consumer Staples|
|Progressive Corp.||/zigman2/quotes/202480455/composite PGR||2.0%||20.0%||Property/Casualty Insurance||Financials|
|Crown Castle International Corp||/zigman2/quotes/202885080/composite CCI||1.6%||30.9%||Real-estate investment Trusts||Real Estate|
|ServiceNow Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/202729495/composite NOW||1.5%||58.6%||Information Technology Services||Information Technology|
|DaVita Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/204229673/composite DVA||1.4%||45.8%||Medical/Nursing Services||Health Care|
|Activision Blizzard Inc.||/zigman2/quotes/200717283/composite ATVI||0.1%||27.6%||Videogames||Communication Services|
|Microsoft Corp.||/zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite 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 /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -0.62% , which is part of the consumer discretionary sector; Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -3.39% and Activision Blizzard /zigman2/quotes/200717283/composite ATVI -4.21% in the communications services sector; and Digital Realty Trust /zigman2/quotes/206785129/composite DLR +1.86% and Equinix /zigman2/quotes/208927761/composite EQIX -1.79% , 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.