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Jan. 3, 2022, 9:20 a.m. EST

These are the best-performing S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 stocks of 2021

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By Philip van Doorn

(Updated as of the market close on Dec. 31.)

The performance of the stock market in 2021 was nothing short of remarkable, surprising many investors after the dramatic crash-and-recovery cycle of 2020.

A continuing recovery for the world economy meant increased demand and shortages in various industries, including semiconductors and energy. Some of the best-performing stocks were oil and gas producers, as the price of West Texas Crude oil /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 -0.32% rose 55%.

The following are lists of the best-performing stocks among the benchmark S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +2.39% , the the S&P 400 Mid Cap Index /zigman2/quotes/219506813/composite MID +5.32% , the S&P Small Cap 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed SML +2.40% and the Nasdaq-100 Index /zigman2/quotes/210598364/realtime NDX +3.70% . Then there’s a list showing how all 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.47% have performed in 2021.

All performance figures in this article include reinvested dividends. For starters, here’s a chart showing total returns for all the indexes in 2021:

The S&P 500 had the top spot with a 28.7% return for 2021, although it had pulled back from its high on Nov. 9, when it was up 32% for the year.

Best-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2021

The S&P 500 is weighted by market capitalization, which means the largest five companies — Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +3.19% , Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +2.26% , Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +5.73% , Alphabet Inc /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +2.84% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +2.96% and Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +5.71% — made up 23% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF /zigman2/quotes/209901640/composite SPY +2.39% as of the close on Dec. 31.

The gains in 2021 were broad, with 88% of the S&P 500 showing positive returns. Here are its 20 best performers in 2021:

Company Ticker Industry Total Return – 2021
Devon Energy Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209479244/composite DVN Oil & Gas Production 196.1%
Marathon Oil Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205031829/composite MRO Oil & Gas Production 149.7%
Moderna Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA Biotechnology 143.1%
Fortinet Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205733290/composite FTNT Computer Communications 142.0%
Signature Bank /zigman2/quotes/204403715/composite SBNY Regional Banks 141.5%
Ford Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F Motor Vehicles 137.5%
Bath & Body Works Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202062875/composite BBWI Retail 133.7%
Diamondback Energy Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite FANG Oil & Gas Production 127.4%
Nvidia Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite NVDA Semiconductors 125.5%
Nucor Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201889722/composite NUE Steel 118.4%
Gartner Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205782082/composite IT Internet Software, Services 108.7%
Extra Space Storage Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208054924/composite EXR Real Estate Investment Trusts 101.0%
Arista Networks Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206966450/composite ANET Computer Communications 97.9%
Simon Property Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209746667/composite SPG Real Estate Investment Trusts 95.8%
APA Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200648444/composite APA Integrated Oil 90.8%
EOG Resources Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204634330/composite EOG Oil & Gas Production 88.7%
Iron Mountain Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208929343/composite IRM Real Estate Investment Trusts 87.8%
Seagate Technology Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/201824240/composite STX Computer Peripherals 87.6%
CF Industries Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209482112/composite CF Chemicals 87.1%
ConocoPhillips /zigman2/quotes/207605056/composite COP Oil & Gas Production 86.7%
Source: FactSet

You can click the tickers for more about each company. Click  here  for Tomi Kilgore’s detailed guide to the wealth of information for free on the MarketWatch quote page.

To make any of the lists, a stock had to be traded publicly for all of 2021.

Among the top 20 performers in the S&P 500, six were oil producers.

Ford Motor Co. /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F +8.52% was up 137.5%, ranking sixth on the list, with a low valuation to expected earnings helping justify investors’ approval of at the early stage of its switch to electric cars. Ford’s rival General Motors Co. /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +7.45% didn’t make the list, as its stock was up “only” 40.8% in 2021 (ranking 160th among the S&P 500), while shares of Tesla were up 49.8% for 2021 following their 743% increase in 2020.

Read: Ford Is More Valuable Than GM for the First Time Since 2016

Best-performing midcap stocks

Remember the meme stocks? Of course you do. GameStop Corp /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME +9.85% . led this craze, as traders banded together through the wallstreetbets Reddit channel in early 2021 to bid up the prices of heavily shorted stocks.

/zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 110.14
-0.35 -0.32%
Volume: 58,132
May 16, 2022 5:21a
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,023.89
+93.81 +2.39%
Volume: 2.54B
May 13, 2022 4:57p
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/zigman2/quotes/219506813/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 40.76
+2.06 +5.32%
Volume: 30,953
May 13, 2022 4:10p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599868/delayed
US : S&P US
1,189.33
+27.89 +2.40%
Volume: 0.00
May 13, 2022 4:57p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598364/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
12,387.40
+441.90 +3.70%
Volume: 938,530
May 13, 2022 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
32,196.66
+466.36 +1.47%
Volume: 388.52M
May 13, 2022 4:57p
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/zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 147.11
+4.55 +3.19%
Volume: 113.99M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
23.91
Dividend Yield
0.63%
Market Cap
$2381.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.51M
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/zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 261.12
+5.77 +2.26%
Volume: 34.93M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
27.24
Dividend Yield
0.95%
Market Cap
$1952.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.06M
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/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2,261.10
+122.49 +5.73%
Volume: 4.68M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
54.53
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1150.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$297,107
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/zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2,321.01
+64.13 +2.84%
Volume: 1.75M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
20.99
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1531.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.72M
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/zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 2,330.31
+67.09 +2.96%
Volume: 1.49M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
21.08
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1531.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.72M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 769.59
+41.59 +5.71%
Volume: 30.72M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
104.43
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$797.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
$626,347
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/zigman2/quotes/209901640/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 401.72
+9.38 +2.39%
Volume: 104.17M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
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/zigman2/quotes/209479244/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 68.70
+4.09 +6.33%
Volume: 13.29M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
12.96
Dividend Yield
5.24%
Market Cap
$45.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$10.01M
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/zigman2/quotes/205031829/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 27.00
+1.87 +7.44%
Volume: 23.24M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.39
Dividend Yield
0.96%
Market Cap
$19.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.04M
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/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 137.91
+7.74 +5.95%
Volume: 6.49M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
4.06
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$54.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
$8.34M
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/zigman2/quotes/205733290/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 281.55
+14.89 +5.58%
Volume: 1.73M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
73.51
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$45.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$351,810
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/zigman2/quotes/204403715/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 201.20
+12.02 +6.35%
Volume: 2.07M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.78
Dividend Yield
1.11%
Market Cap
$12.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.24M
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/zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 13.50
+1.06 +8.52%
Volume: 78.94M
May 13, 2022 4:03p
P/E Ratio
4.74
Dividend Yield
2.96%
Market Cap
$54.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$735,459
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/zigman2/quotes/202062875/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 51.01
+2.47 +5.09%
Volume: 3.71M
May 13, 2022 4:03p
P/E Ratio
10.36
Dividend Yield
1.57%
Market Cap
$12.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$138,524
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/zigman2/quotes/201200230/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 133.43
+6.39 +5.03%
Volume: 2.78M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
8.80
Dividend Yield
2.10%
Market Cap
$23.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
$9.22M
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/zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 177.06
+15.31 +9.47%
Volume: 67.04M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
46.05
Dividend Yield
0.09%
Market Cap
$443.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.20M
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/zigman2/quotes/201889722/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 123.79
-0.85 -0.68%
Volume: 3.38M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
4.43
Dividend Yield
1.62%
Market Cap
$32.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
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/zigman2/quotes/205782082/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 255.52
+7.92 +3.20%
Volume: 515,901
May 13, 2022 4:04p
P/E Ratio
26.99
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$20.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$294,737
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/zigman2/quotes/208054924/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 178.96
+4.24 +2.43%
Volume: 567,892
May 13, 2022 4:04p
P/E Ratio
29.03
Dividend Yield
3.35%
Market Cap
$25.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$389,154
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/zigman2/quotes/206966450/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 108.65
+6.98 +6.87%
Volume: 2.29M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
37.22
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$33.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.05M
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/zigman2/quotes/209746667/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 116.78
+1.16 +1.00%
Volume: 2.66M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
17.87
Dividend Yield
5.82%
Market Cap
$43.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.57M
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/zigman2/quotes/200648444/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 41.15
+3.12 +8.20%
Volume: 8.76M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
5.86
Dividend Yield
1.22%
Market Cap
$14.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.90M
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/zigman2/quotes/204634330/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 124.28
+3.77 +3.13%
Volume: 3.88M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.60
Dividend Yield
2.41%
Market Cap
$72.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$8.03M
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/zigman2/quotes/208929343/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 52.33
+0.43 +0.83%
Volume: 1.46M
May 13, 2022 4:03p
P/E Ratio
34.11
Dividend Yield
4.73%
Market Cap
$15.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$186,301
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/zigman2/quotes/201824240/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 80.71
+2.61 +3.34%
Volume: 1.40M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
9.93
Dividend Yield
3.47%
Market Cap
$17.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$301,150
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/zigman2/quotes/209482112/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 103.86
+5.63 +5.73%
Volume: 3.52M
May 13, 2022 4:03p
P/E Ratio
13.40
Dividend Yield
1.54%
Market Cap
$21.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.79M
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/zigman2/quotes/207605056/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 102.45
+3.31 +3.34%
Volume: 6.55M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.54
Dividend Yield
1.80%
Market Cap
$133.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$5.47M
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/zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 13.50
+1.06 +8.52%
Volume: 78.94M
May 13, 2022 4:03p
P/E Ratio
4.74
Dividend Yield
2.96%
Market Cap
$54.27 billion
Rev. per Employee
$735,459
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/zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 38.21
+2.65 +7.45%
Volume: 23.00M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
6.34
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$55.71 billion
Rev. per Employee
$831,267
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/zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 98.39
+8.82 +9.85%
Volume: 5.98M
May 13, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$7.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$500,892
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