Well, if you thought that, you were wrong. During the second quarter, stocks did a virtual about-face, with the S&P 500 falling 2.75% during the quarter. Other major indices like the Dow, Nasdaq Composite, Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 all finished the three month period between April and June in the red.
The widespread selling resulted in six of the nine S&P sectors falling during Q2. The biggest loser was energy, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLE) sinking 7.06% in the quarter. The best-performing sector was utilities, with the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSE:XLU) enjoying a 6.53% power surge in the quarter.
When we look at individual stocks, we saw plenty of large-cap winners that posted stellar gains in Q2. And given the overall decline in the S&P 500 index, it’s no surprise that there also were some very big losers during the past three months. First, here’s a look at the absolute best of the best — the top 10 percentage gainers, according to Bloomberg data.
Top 10 Winners in Q2
|Company||Ticker||Q2 % Gain|
|Cabot Oil & Gas||COG||26.47%|
Online travel website Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) was the best performer during the second quarter, posting a remarkable 44% gain. The travel site’s shares were helped by a big rise in discount travel bookings, as well as more bookings to Asian countries such as China. Medical device maker Edwards Life (NYSE:EW) came in a close second during the quarter with a 42% surge, while giant food manufacturer Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) took the bronze medal with a nearly 41% spike during Q2.
Other notable winners here were homebuilders D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) and PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM). The showing in these once-struggling housing stocks is a great sign for a potential rebound in the all-important housing sector.
Now, a look at the losers:
Top 10 Losers in Q2
|Company||Ticker||Q2 % Loss|
|Abercrombie & Fitch||ANF||-30.84%|
|Alpha Natural Resources||ANR||-42.74%|
Capturing the infamous award for biggest loser in the second quarter was coal mining firm Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), which sank almost 43% from April through June. The energy company suffered the big loss partly because of falling coal prices and the lack of demand for coal in countries like China. Fashion retailer Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) got slammed when it failed to meet revenue expectations, and when it warned of lost revenue from the slowdown in Europe. The stock sank 42% during the quarter. Finally, the problems for DVD rental firm Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) continued in Q2, with investors dumping the troubled stock to the tune of more than 40%.
So, what will Q3 bring about in terms of winners and losers? We’ll find out in early October, but judging by the ebb and flow in the equity markets, you can be pretty sure there won’t be a whole lot, if any, repeat offenders on either of list.
As of this writing, Jim Woods did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.