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Stocks: A look what drove the Nasdaq, S&P 500, and crypto in 2021

In this article:
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Yahoo Finance Live's Jared Blikre and Karina Mitchell summarize the market and sector action seen in 2021.

Video Transcript

- It is a final trading day of the week, the month, and the year. And investors don't have a lot to be frustrated about today. The major averages all delivering stellar returns year to date. Want to check the benchmarks right now, however. The Dow is up 62 points. S&P has been fluctuating between gains and losses. No big moves here. Up 2 points. And the NASDAQ is lower by 41 points.

Sector-wise, real estate is one of the leading sectors, and then communications and tech are laggards. And, Jared, I know that you have been watching the markets and have a little bit of a review starting with the NASDAQ 100 winners and losers. And you say Lucid and Moderna are some of the winners, and Peloton and Pinduoduo laggards.

- Yes. And there are huge disparities between some of the winners and losers. Fortunately, most are winners. And let's take a look at the Wi-Fi interactive. First thing we'll notice-- this is a year to date view of the NASDAQ 100-- is the mega caps really outperforming. You have Tesla, Alphabet, Microsoft, Nvidia each up more than 50%, and some of those much more than that. Alphabet up 66%-- excuse me. Nvidia up 126%. Apple kind of in the lower end of the pack.

But as the biggest technology, as the biggest public company on Earth, approaching $3 trillion in value. It's truly astounding the revenue growth of this company, that has been able to sustain up 33%, 34$ for one year for companies of these size is simply incredible. Stand out. Amazon only up about 3%. Mostly a sideways year for the retailer. And then Facebook still putting in gains of 25% or so. Not bad.

Now, if we sort by performance on an equal-weighted basis, as you said, Karina, Lucid the number one stock here. 287% year to date. But you'll notice it didn't even reach the highs recently here, and been able to hold on to a lot of these gains. But I think one of the themes is a lot of these stocks simply peaked earlier in the year. And they're kind of coasting on those gains ever since.

Now to the downside. Peloton, the big example here. That is from the upper left to the lower right, the opposite of what you want to see if you're a bull. Down 76%. Really kind of a disaster year for them. And then followed by Pinduoduo. That is a Chinese story. That chart looks very similar. They're down 67%. Finally, Zoom down 45%, having a rough go of it. You take a look at what they've done over two years. And maintaining some gains, though, but well off some of those highs, Karina.

- And then also taking a look at the S&P 500, Devin Energy, one of the big winners there, along with Moderna. And Penn and Las Vegas Sands are the laggards.

- Exactly. And kind of interesting that the energy sector is taking a number of the top spots here. So you'll notice Devin Energy, that's up 178% in the upper left. Marathon. That is up 150% roughly. And then Diamondback Energy. That is up 122%. And let's take a one year view. Energy is the best performing sector of the year in the S&P 500 by the way. And it's actually having its best year ever. I think it's up 42%, 43% right there.

And to the downside, these gambling stocks really got knocked down. Penn. That's down 39%, 40%. Penn National Gaming. And then also Las Vegas Sands. That's down 37%. But kind of a disparity between the winners and losers. This kind of flips it on its head when you take a month to date view because on a monthly basis in December a lot of the stocks that are up the most in the S&P 500 among this group right here are those that got beat down the most.

So we take a look at Lamb Weston Holdings. This is a stock that's been in a downtrend since mid-year, and pretty firmly still in that downtrend on this time frame. But getting a nice pop in the month of December. But you can see still mired in the lower half of its range. It looks like I got keyed off-- there we go. Citrix Systems is another one that's down 21%. And it's actually the same picture for all of these stocks on the top line here except for Fortinet. Fortinet is one of those stocks. It's up 143% on the year and has been able to add to those gains in December. But just kind of exemplifying the difficult month it has been because a lot of the things that worked at other points in the year kind of got flipped on its head during this month.

- And then, Jared, also you took a look at crypto. Crypto so volatile. Forget about day to day. I couldn't keep track of minute to minute sometimes. What are your findings there?

- Let's take a look at the Wi-Fi interactive again. We can see Bitcoin holding on to some healthy gains at 59%. But it's really the other members of this group that stand out. So in the number one place we have Polygon. That is up 14,000% over the trailing year. Solana. We talk a lot about that on the show. We've introduced-- excuse me. We've interviewed the, I guess, the founder. And we can see that's up over 11,000% this year. Dogecoin. Even that's up about 2,900%, and you can see still well off its highs, but maintaining one of the top spots on this list.

To the downside, not too many losers here. We have Polkadot. That's down 4%. And then BitcoinSV. That's down 25% over the year. But for the most part, a lot of these names are familiar. A few are not. Hex is a new one. That's up 1,800%. At least in terms of being on my radar this year. And here's another one that's somewhat new to me. Crypto.com up 860% this year. And by the way, when they announced they were buying the Staples Center, that was pretty much the top in Bitcoin. So interesting to see that correlation right there.

- It was interesting to see the return on Ethereum as well. If you invested $1,000 at the beginning of the year, you would now have about $5,500. So some big gains if you have the stomach for it.

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