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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 -1.31% dropped by the most in a month. The news was particularly jarring to the highflying cryptocurrency space, with bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -7.72% and ethereum /zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime ETHUSD -8.03% 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 /zigman2/quotes/202062875/composite LB 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
4,166.45
-55.41 -1.31%
Volume: 3.62B
June 18, 2021 5:09p
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/zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime
US : CoinDesk
33,399.77
-2,794 -7.72%
Volume: 0.00
June 20, 2021 8:23a
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/zigman2/quotes/108573964/realtime
US : Kraken
2,047.02
-178.62 -8.03%
Volume: 139.85M
June 20, 2021 8:26a
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/zigman2/quotes/209264611/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 73.78
-2.35 -3.09%
Volume: 5.21M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$11.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$195,333
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/zigman2/quotes/207948472/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 165.85
+3.86 +2.38%
Volume: 5.35M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
268.37
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$22.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$911,088
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/zigman2/quotes/202062875/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 62.78
-0.01 -0.02%
Volume: 5.26M
June 18, 2021 4:02p
P/E Ratio
12.56
Dividend Yield
0.96%
Market Cap
$17.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$128,353
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/zigman2/quotes/205281174/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 100.06
-3.77 -3.63%
Volume: 4.76M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$20.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
$165,429
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/zigman2/quotes/208144392/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 84.65
+0.09 +0.11%
Volume: 58.74M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
35.98
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$102.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
$774,841
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/zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 623.31
+6.71 +1.09%
Volume: 24.56M
June 18, 2021 4:15p
P/E Ratio
623.87
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$600.45 billion
Rev. per Employee
$445,694
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/zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 745.55
-0.74 -0.10%
Volume: 24.22M
June 18, 2021 4:15p
P/E Ratio
88.25
Dividend Yield
0.09%
Market Cap
$464.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
$878,788
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/zigman2/quotes/206554267/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 31.28
-1.10 -3.40%
Volume: 7.54M
June 18, 2021 4:03p
P/E Ratio
27.73
Dividend Yield
1.53%
Market Cap
$11.81 billion
Rev. per Employee
$117,949
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/zigman2/quotes/200215692/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 34.96
-0.19 -0.54%
Volume: 46.25M
June 18, 2021 4:04p
P/E Ratio
28.59
Dividend Yield
0.86%
Market Cap
$51.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$566,204
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/zigman2/quotes/200678442/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,468.06
+5.48 +0.37%
Volume: 529,693
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$73.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$255,594
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208108773/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 352.34
+3.84 +1.10%
Volume: 693,077
June 18, 2021 4:03p
P/E Ratio
141.60
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$20.36 billion
Rev. per Employee
$199,486
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/zigman2/quotes/207417762/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 41.17
-1.07 -2.53%
Volume: 4.50M
June 18, 2021 4:03p
P/E Ratio
34.37
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$11.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
$286,786
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/zigman2/quotes/207177221/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 266.56
+4.05 +1.54%
Volume: 2.10M
June 18, 2021 4:15p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$67.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$328,953
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/zigman2/quotes/202790087/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 169.82
+0.18 +0.11%
Volume: 3.51M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
48.11
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$21.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.22M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200300692/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 601.64
-11.69 -1.91%
Volume: 993,977
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
104.53
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$47.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
$136,798
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/zigman2/quotes/208144117/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 386.40
+7.46 +1.97%
Volume: 1.42M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
54.31
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$24.33 billion
Rev. per Employee
$365,632
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 199.19
-3.28 -1.62%
Volume: 6.66M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
158.84
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$79.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
$617,996
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/zigman2/quotes/205710729/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 76.95
-3.69 -4.58%
Volume: 39.88M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
27.29
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$86.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$535,875
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/zigman2/quotes/208035743/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 109.12
+0.31 +0.28%
Volume: 6.36M
June 18, 2021 4:15p
P/E Ratio
174.42
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$32.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
$494,288
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208077897/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 612.66
-27.12 -4.24%
Volume: 2.11M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
25.87
Dividend Yield
0.85%
Market Cap
$87.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$888,552
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200300692/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 601.64
-11.69 -1.91%
Volume: 993,977
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
104.53
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$47.61 billion
Rev. per Employee
$136,798
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202729495/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 533.74
+3.34 +0.63%
Volume: 2.25M
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
708.16
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$105.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
$345,104
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/zigman2/quotes/201755982/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 25.13
-0.37 -1.45%
Volume: 3.72M
June 18, 2021 4:15p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.80%
Market Cap
$14.59 billion
Rev. per Employee
$383,319
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/zigman2/quotes/201850708/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 493.43
-8.66 -1.72%
Volume: 487,129
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
41.30
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$26.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$506,136
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200548254/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 530.96
-14.42 -2.64%
Volume: 749,358
June 18, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
17.51
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$28.84 billion
Rev. per Employee
$895,792
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