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April 24, 2021, 8:42 a.m. EDT

Get ready for $178 billion of selling ahead of the capital-gains tax hike. These are the stocks most at risk.

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By Steve Goldstein

Avid readers of this column may have had a sense of déjà vu on Thursday. Last month, a Need to Know column explored what would pay for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure spending — and quoted a former Biden aide, Evercore ISI analyst Sarah Bianchi, who said it would “ probably include nearly doubling capital-gains taxes on those with income over $1 million .” Not that it was any state secret — the Biden campaign’s website suggested such a move too.

In any case, the stock market reacted negatively to the Bloomberg News report that the White House was considering doubling capital-gains taxes on the wealthy to help pay for social spending, as the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.0072% dropped by the most in a month. The news was particularly jarring to the highflying cryptocurrency space, with bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -5.26% and ethereum /zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime ETHUSD -5.95% slumping.

One question now is whether the closely divided Senate will go for it. “Frankly, I suspect that these proposed tax increases will be knocked down at the hands of Senator [Joe] Manchin who remains the ‘swing’ vote in the Senate,” said Louis Navellier, the chairman of Navellier & Associates. An alternative is that the Senate could increase the capital-gains tax, but by a smaller amount — analysts at Goldman Sachs suggest they’ll settle at 28%, up from 20% currently. Another question is whether the tax will be applied retroactively or not.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs — in October — ran the numbers on the stock market impact of previous capital-gains tax hikes. While there is only a modest impact on the stock market as a whole, momentum stocks usually get socked before they are levied, they found. That makes sense — investors logically are more motivated to sell the stocks where they would save the most by avoiding higher capital-gains taxes.

The last time capital-gains taxes were hiked, in 2013, the wealthiest households sold 1% of their equity assets, the Goldman analysts found. According to the Federal Reserve’s distributional financial account data , the top 1% held $17.79 trillion of equities and mutual funds in the fourth quarter of 2020 — so a 1% selling of stocks this time would be $178 billion. (The most recent Internal Revenue Service breakdown, from 2018, found that millionaires accounted for just over 500,000 filers, or about 0.4% of the total.)

Here is the list of the top price gainers in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 over the last year and over the last five years.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 gainers
Company One-year % change Company Five-year % change
Penn National /zigman2/quotes/209264611/composite PENN 575 Enphase Energy /zigman2/quotes/207948472/composite ENPH 6160
L Brands 548 Etsy 2230
Caesars Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/205281174/composite CZR 527 Advanced Micro Devices /zigman2/quotes/208144392/composite AMD 1882
Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA 392 NVIDIA /zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite NVDA 1538
Gap /zigman2/quotes/206554267/composite GPS 368 Tesla 1318
Freeport McMoran /zigman2/quotes/200215692/composite FCX 355 MercadoLibre /zigman2/quotes/200678442/composite MELI 1137
Enphase Energy 321 Paycom Software /zigman2/quotes/208108773/composite PAYC 943
Tapestry /zigman2/quotes/207417762/composite TPR 237 Atlassian Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207177221/composite TEAM 859
Etsy /zigman2/quotes/202790087/composite ETSY 235 Align Technology /zigman2/quotes/200300692/composite ALGN 733
Generac Holdings /zigman2/quotes/208144117/composite GNRC 233 Generac Holdings 720
Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA 228 Micron Technology /zigman2/quotes/205710729/composite MU 695
Peloton Interactive /zigman2/quotes/208035743/composite PTON 226 Lam Research /zigman2/quotes/208077897/composite LRCX 662
Align Technology /zigman2/quotes/200300692/composite ALGN 224 ServiceNow /zigman2/quotes/202729495/composite NOW 650
News Corp /zigman2/quotes/201755982/composite NWSA 219 Zebra Technologies /zigman2/quotes/201850708/composite ZBRA 647
SVB Financial /zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite SIVB 210 Caesars Entertainment 645
Data: FactSet (News Corp owns MarketWatch, the publisher of this report.)

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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,575.12
+0.33 +0.0072%
Volume: 954.93M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
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/zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime
US : CoinDesk
58,803.36
-3,265 -5.26%
Volume: 0.00
Oct. 27, 2021 12:07p
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/zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime
US : Kraken
4,009.27
-253.55 -5.95%
Volume: 252.34M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:07p
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/zigman2/quotes/209264611/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 73.36
-0.83 -1.12%
Volume: 1.81M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
27.49
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$12.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
$195,333
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/zigman2/quotes/207948472/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 218.79
+45.33 +26.13%
Volume: 7.47M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
168.98
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$23.35 billion
Rev. per Employee
$911,088
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/zigman2/quotes/205281174/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 111.64
-1.15 -1.02%
Volume: 447,981
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$24.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$165,429
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/zigman2/quotes/208144392/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 125.61
+2.68 +2.18%
Volume: 61.51M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
44.55
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$149.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$774,841
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/zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,055.13
+36.70 +3.60%
Volume: 24.00M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
342.27
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$1022.77 billion
Rev. per Employee
$445,694
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/zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 248.67
+1.50 +0.61%
Volume: 14.71M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
88.79
Dividend Yield
0.06%
Market Cap
$617.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
$878,788
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/zigman2/quotes/206554267/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 22.06
-0.65 -2.86%
Volume: 2.86M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
11.25
Dividend Yield
2.17%
Market Cap
$8.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$117,949
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/zigman2/quotes/200215692/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 37.48
-1.37 -3.53%
Volume: 10.70M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
14.15
Dividend Yield
0.80%
Market Cap
$57.03 billion
Rev. per Employee
$566,204
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/zigman2/quotes/200678442/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,519.79
-24.87 -1.61%
Volume: 104,760
Oct. 27, 2021 12:07p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$76.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$255,594
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/zigman2/quotes/208108773/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 531.88
-5.31 -0.99%
Volume: 70,901
Oct. 27, 2021 11:53a
P/E Ratio
183.57
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$32.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
$199,486
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207417762/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 38.41
-0.70 -1.79%
Volume: 527,309
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
12.96
Dividend Yield
2.61%
Market Cap
$10.89 billion
Rev. per Employee
$350,384
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207177221/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 416.90
-7.62 -1.79%
Volume: 316,379
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$106.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$324,752
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/zigman2/quotes/202790087/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 246.11
-1.41 -0.57%
Volume: 540,039
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
70.91
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$31.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.22M
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/zigman2/quotes/200300692/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 599.00
+5.70 +0.96%
Volume: 290,254
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
67.68
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$46.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
$136,798
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208144117/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 490.26
+17.55 +3.71%
Volume: 328,348
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
60.35
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$29.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
$365,632
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 343.82
-1.92 -0.56%
Volume: 2.46M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
43.00
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$139.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
$617,996
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/zigman2/quotes/205710729/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 68.51
-0.44 -0.63%
Volume: 6.65M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
13.28
Dividend Yield
0.59%
Market Cap
$77.12 billion
Rev. per Employee
$644,302
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/zigman2/quotes/208035743/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 90.84
-2.62 -2.80%
Volume: 1.85M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$28.32 billion
Rev. per Employee
$464,304
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/zigman2/quotes/208077897/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 553.60
+4.66 +0.85%
Volume: 381,103
Oct. 27, 2021 12:07p
P/E Ratio
18.69
Dividend Yield
1.08%
Market Cap
$77.30 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.04M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200300692/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 599.00
+5.70 +0.96%
Volume: 290,254
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
67.68
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$46.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
$136,798
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202729495/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 667.97
-8.74 -1.29%
Volume: 462,298
Oct. 27, 2021 12:07p
P/E Ratio
794.98
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$134.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,104
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201755982/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 22.94
-0.91 -3.84%
Volume: 1.35M
Oct. 27, 2021 12:08p
P/E Ratio
41.08
Dividend Yield
0.87%
Market Cap
$14.17 billion
Rev. per Employee
$389,917
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/zigman2/quotes/201850708/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 521.26
-4.15 -0.79%
Volume: 51,924
Oct. 27, 2021 12:05p
P/E Ratio
36.82
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$28.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$506,136
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 720.90
-24.42 -3.28%
Volume: 156,123
Oct. 27, 2021 12:06p
P/E Ratio
22.01
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$43.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
$889,295
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