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23 Stocks Skate Past September’s Pain And ‘Always Go Up’

It’s been a rough September for most S&P 500 stocks. But a few are skating right through the drama and continuing their seemingly nonstop ascent.




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Nearly two-dozen stocks in the S&P 500 — including health care plays Moderna (MRNA) and DexCom (DXCM) and consumer discretionary stock Tesla (TSLA) — gained in September while the rest of the S&P 500 skidded 3.2%, taking out a key support level. Talk about surviving a market test.

But better yet: All these stocks are also up year-to-date, extending gains in both 2020 and 2019 as well, says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith. It’s almost like they only “always go up,” a popular phrase on Reddit, even in the treacherous month of September when most stocks falter.

“September and October have historically always been volatile months and given the fact that most equity markets have posted solid gains this year, it is important to monitor the risks for signs that it could be time to turn less positive on equity markets,” said a report by Leo Wealth.

S&P 500 Gets Tested In September

The S&P 500’s 3.2% fall in September might not sound like much of a blow. But it’s a big wealth destroyer, given how lofty valuations got at the Sept. 2 peak.

Investors are now down a painful $2 trillion from the market’s September peak, says Wilshire Associates. Additionally, all of the 11 S&P 500 sectors are lower in the month so far.

The materials sector is suffering the most. The Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) is down 7.5%, making it the worst sector this month. But even the “best” S&P 500 sector, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), is down 2.2% in September so far.

So seeing top S&P 500 stocks that can maintain their winning ways amid all this selling is noteworthy.

Moderna Continues To Lap The S&P 500

If you’re looking for an S&P 500 stock that defies gravity, you’ll want vaccine champ Moderna on your list. The stock is up more than 15% in September. That would be impressive in any month. But it’s especially so as most other S&P 500 stocks are down.

But it’s not just a lucky move for one of the newest members of the S&P 500. Shares of Moderna jumped in 2019 and 2020, too. And not by a little. Shares rose 28% in 2019 and 430% in 2020. Additionally, analysts think Moderna’s adjusted profit will soar to $30.12 a share in 2021, after a loss of nearly $2 a share in 2020. Should you buy Moderna stock now?

Tesla, Others Escape September Slump

Tesla might not be the dynamo S&P 500 stock it was in 2020 — when it jumped more than 740%. But it’s had enough gas in the tank to escape September’s slide.

The electric-car maker’s stock is up 0.5% in September so far. That’s not much, but that gain plus the 2020 jump and the 25.7% rise in 2019 make an average gain in those three periods of 258%. And that’s just slightly behind Moderna’s average stock price gain of 259% in those same periods. Additionally, Tesla’s stock is holding on to a 1% gain since the S&P 500 topped, while the market is down more than 3%. Should you buy Tesla stock now?

It looks like the sector counts. Almost half of the S&P 500 stocks to gain in September, on top of gains in 2019 and 2020, are in Tesla’s sector: consumer discretionary. That’s more than any other sector.

And top management matters, too, especially when markets slide. World-class management at DexCom is helping the glucose monitoring company move nearly 5% higher during the September skid. Keep in mind, too, that the stock is up nearly 50% this year. And that’s following a 69% gain in 2020 and nearly 83% rise in 2019.

The September sell-off put investors on notice. But some S&P 500 stocks just keep sailing.

Top S&P 500 Stocks Rise In September

They’re all up in September and 2021 so far, on top on gains in 2019 and 2020

 

Company Ticker 2019 stock % change % change 2020 % change in Sept. Avg. % gain (2019, 2020 and YTD) Sector
Moderna (MRNA) 28.1% 434.1% 15.2% 259.2% Health Care
Tesla (TSLA) 25.7% 743.4% 0.5% 258.0% Consumer Discretionary
DexCom (DXCM) 82.6% 69.0% 4.6% 67.1% Health Care
KLA (KLAC) 99.1% 45.3% 4.9% 60.7% Information Technology
Quanta Services (PWR) 35.2% 76.9% 12.5% 57.2% Industrials
Bio-Techne (TECH) 51.7% 44.7% 6.2% 54.4% Health Care
SVB Financial (SIVB) 32.2% 54.5% 6.0% 46.5% Financials
Caesars Entertainment (CZR) 64.7% 24.5% 3.4% 43.6% Consumer Discretionary
Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) 45.2% 43.4% 7.6% 38.9% Health Care
Tractor Supply (TSCO) 12.0% 50.4% 6.6% 36.6% Consumer Discretionary
CarMax (KMX) 39.8% 7.7% 9.4% 30.8% Consumer Discretionary
Lowe’s (LOW) 29.7% 34.0% 1.2% 30.7% Consumer Discretionary
HCA Healthcare (HCA) 18.8% 11.3% 1.1% 28.5% Health Care
Aon (AON) 43.3% 1.4% 1.4% 27.5% Financials
Texas Instruments (TXN) 35.8% 27.9% 1.1% 27.1% Information Technology
Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) 29.2% 29.9% 3.4% 26.4% Financials
Analog Devices (ADI) 38.5% 24.3% 4.7% 26.1% Information Technology
Home Depot (HD) 27.1% 21.6% 2.5% 24.9% Consumer Discretionary
Hilton Worldwide (HLT) 54.5% 0.3% 2.4% 23.2% Consumer Discretionary
O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY) 27.3% 3.3% 2.2% 21.6% Consumer Discretionary
General Motors (GM) 9.4% 13.8% 0.7% 13.9% Consumer Discretionary
Booking Holdings (BKNG) 19.2% 8.4% 1.1% 10.7% Consumer Discretionary
McDonald’s (MCD) 11.3% 8.6% 1.3% 10.7% Consumer Discretionary
S&P 500 28.9% 16.3% -3.7% 20.4% Consumer Discretionary
Sources: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz

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