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This unlikely stock is the biggest winner since the February stock market top

Bond trading has traditionally been a pretty fusty industry

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By Andrea Riquier


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Can a tech-enabled company make bond trading easier?

Which stock has performed best since the market top in mid February?

If you guessed a pharmaceutical company with a promising coronavirus treatment, you wouldn’t be far off. A technology company that enables work-from-home computing would also be a good guess, but also wrong.

How about a financial company?

It’s counterintuitive — but true. MarketAxess Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202710814/composite MKTX -0.80%   has gained 49.14% since the S&P 500’s record close on February 19, according to Dow Jones Market Data, even as concerns about households and businesses facing cash flow problems and rock-bottom interest rates have pushed the financial sector to be the second-worst performing S&P 500 sector this year, behind only energy.

Company Name % Change 
MarketAxess Holdings, Inc. 49.14
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203149337/composite REGN   42.61
Newmont Corporation /zigman2/quotes/205356474/composite NEM   35.13
Citix Systems, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206700852/composite CTXS   25.82
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation /zigman2/quotes/205804016/composite COG   25.77
Clorox Company /zigman2/quotes/206443229/composite CLX   24.73
Incyte Corporation /zigman2/quotes/204510994/composite INCY   19.46
Gilead Sciences, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite GILD   18.17
Fortinet, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205733290/composite FTNT   17.66
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204008930/composite TTWO   17.51
Source: Dow Jones Market Data

Yet MarketAxess, which brands itself as “the leader in e-trading for global fixed income,” may be in a sweet spot as investors from individuals to the United States Federal Reserve give bonds another look — as both issuers and buyers.

As MarketWatch’s Philip van Doorn noted earlier in April, MarketAxess increased revenue 35.7% from a year ago in the first quarter — more than pandemic darlings Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +2.71%   and Netflix Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -0.84%   Trading volumes were up 29% compared to a year ago starting in February, company executives said on their quarterly earnings call in late April.

See: ETFs behaving badly: ‘exactly what they are supposed to do’ or ‘just what we feared’?

/zigman2/quotes/202710814/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 439.45
-3.56 -0.80%
Volume: 29,424
Sept. 22, 2020 11:22a
P/E Ratio
63.40
Dividend Yield
0.55%
Market Cap
$16.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$959,394
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/zigman2/quotes/203149337/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 556.95
+1.25 +0.22%
Volume: 152,201
Sept. 22, 2020 11:23a
P/E Ratio
21.52
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$59.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$906,865
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205356474/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 63.20
-0.47 -0.74%
Volume: 1.59M
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
13.15
Dividend Yield
1.59%
Market Cap
$51.13 billion
Rev. per Employee
$300,083
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206700852/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 134.81
+0.59 +0.44%
Volume: 178,671
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
22.69
Dividend Yield
1.04%
Market Cap
$16.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$362,671
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205804016/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 19.56
+0.11 +0.57%
Volume: 1.26M
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
24.77
Dividend Yield
2.05%
Market Cap
$7.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$7.07M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206443229/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 213.54
+5.01 +2.40%
Volume: 476,883
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
28.93
Dividend Yield
2.09%
Market Cap
$26.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$717,701
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204510994/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 85.37
-0.02 -0.02%
Volume: 241,552
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$18.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.38M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 63.47
-0.74 -1.15%
Volume: 2.06M
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
4.28%
Market Cap
$80.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.02M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205733290/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 116.03
-1.80 -1.53%
Volume: 403,934
Sept. 22, 2020 11:23a
P/E Ratio
48.30
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$19.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$308,161
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204008930/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 162.87
-1.47 -0.89%
Volume: 303,401
Sept. 22, 2020 11:23a
P/E Ratio
41.61
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$18.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
$574,279
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 3,040.83
+80.36 +2.71%
Volume: 2.70M
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
116.08
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1482.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
$359,671
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 483.27
-4.08 -0.84%
Volume: 1.50M
Sept. 22, 2020 11:24a
P/E Ratio
81.02
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$214.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.22M
loading...

Andrea Riquier reports on housing and banking from MarketWatch's New York newsroom. Follow her on Twitter @ARiquier.

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