It took nearly five years for the S&P 500 to make the move from 2,000 points to 3,000. But the index hit the elusive 3,000 point milestone on Wednesday after testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled a rate cut might be on the horizon.
The Nasdaq and Dow also hit all-time highs.
“Crosscurrents have reemerged,” Powell said in the prepared testimony. “Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened. Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook.”
Powell reiterated that the current trade conditions and soft economic activity have dampened the economy’s outlook, while also noting that the U.S. economy remains on solid ground.
Stocks rallied as Powell gave his testimony. While the S&P briefly rallied to the 3,000 level, it ended the day at 2,993.07, 0.45% higher than the previous day’s close.
In the five years it has taken for the index to reach the 3,000 level, there have been a handful of stocks that have powered this historic rally.
Medical implant manufacturer Abiomed (NASDAQ: ABMD) led the pack and has surged an incredible 909% since the S&P 500 hit the 2,000 point mark on August 26, 2014. Medical device company Align Technology (NASDAQ: ALGN) is also among the top ten stocks, with a 400% return.
The tech sector has propelled the market higher in the record-setting bull market over the past decade, and the sector’s strength has been indispensable to the market’s resilience in the past several years. Chip stocks Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD), which are up 728% and 707%, respectively, have been the second and third best performers.
And among the FANG stocks, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) made the top 10 list, with Amazon up 489% and Netflix up 455%. Video game maker Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO) also made the list with a return of 424%.
Of the top ten best performing stocks since the S&P 500 hit the 2,000 mark, analysts are most bullish on Abiomed, and Nvidia. Their average price targets for these stocks suggest possible upside of 57% for Abiomed, and 22% for Nvidia over the next twelve months.