By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch
In any market environment, there are exceptions to the trend. But there aren’t many this time.
Since the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) hit its last closing record on Feb. 19, the index has skidded 12% — and only seven of the component stocks haven’t declined through the close on Feb. 27. See the list below.
Before you get there, here’s a list of stocks in the index that took the worst beatings, along with a summary of how the 11 sectors performed.
It might surprise you that Tesla (NAS:TSLA) isn’t on that list of decliners, but the electric car maker hasn’t yet met the requirements to be included in the S&P 500. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus strain known as COVID-19, it appeared likely to be added to the index by the end of 2020. Tesla’s stock was down nearly $100 (13%) on Feb. 27 to close at $679. The stock was down $238 (26%) since it set a closing record of $917.42 on Feb. 19.
So here are the exceptions — seven S&P 500 stocks that rose in price between Feb. 19 and Feb. 27:
|Company||Ticker||Industry||Price change since Feb. 19||Price change - 2020||Decline from 52-week high||Price change - 2019|
|Gilead Sciences Inc.||(NAS:GILD)||Biotechnology||7.9%||11.8%||-7.9%||3.9%|
|Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.||(NAS:REGN)||Biotechnology||7.7%||14.9%||-8.2%||0.5%|
|Clorox Co.||(NYS:CLX)||Household/Personal Care||2.3%||9.9%||-3.1%||-0.4%|
|E-Trade Financial Corp.||(NAS:ETFC)||Investment Banks/Brokers||2.3%||1.3%||-19.8%||3.4%|
|CME Group Inc. Class A||(NAS:CME)||Investment Banks/Brokers||1.4%||4.8%||-6.6%||6.7%|
|Newmont Corp.||(NYS:NEM)||Precious Metals||0.8%||7.1%||-9.4%||25.4%|
|Cboe Global Markets Inc.||(BATS:CBOE)||Investment Banks/Brokers||0.7%||1.0%||-5.2%||22.7%|
You can click the tickers for more about each company.
• Gilead Sciences (NAS:GILD) has announced two Phase 3 clinical studies to measure the effectiveness of its Remdesivir medication in countering COVID-19 infections. The company’s Feb. 26 press release has more details. Jefferies analyst Michael Yee rates Gilead a “buy,” but wrote in a note to clients on Feb. 26 that although he is pleased that fighting the virus is a ‘very high priority” for Gilead’s management, “the financial implications are modest (pricing, one-time use, no tail).”
• Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NAS:REGN) ws upgraded to a “Buy” by Jefferies analyst Biren Amin on Feb. 25, because he believes competitive risk to the company’s Eylea macular degeneration therapy has been minimized because of safety concerns over Novartis AG’s (NYS:NVS) (SWX:CH:NOVN) Beovu medication.
• Clorox (NYS:CLX) is an obvious defensive stock during a time when people are concerned about the spread of a deadly virus and reaching for bleach. But Charles Lemonides, founder of ValueWorks LLC in New York, argued that for long-term investors, Clorox’s high valuation to earnings actually makes it a risky stock.
• E-Trade Financial (NAS:ETFC) agreed on Feb. 20 to be acquired by Morgan Stanley (NYS:MS) in an all-stock deal valued at $58.74 a share at that time. E-Trade’s shares closed at $45.95 Thursday. The deal calls for an exchange of 1.0432 Morgan Stanley shares for every E-Trade share. Morgan Stanley’s shares closed at $45.41 on Feb. 27, so based on those numbers, E-Trade’s takeout price would be $47.37.
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