With just one week of trading before the start of October, many portfolio managers are beginning the quarterly ritual of window dressing where they sell the quarter's losers and buy the winners in an effort to make their portfolios look more attractive. While the impact of window dressing varies from quarter to quarter, there is evidence that it tends to have at least some impact.
With that in mind, the table below highlights the best and worst performing S&P 500 stocks so far this quarter. If window dressing were to actually have an impact this quarter, you would see the best performing stocks continue to outperform, while the losers lag.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of this quarter's list of best performing S&P 500 stocks is that three of them are from the Telecom Services sector (PCS, S, and FTR). That may not sound like much, but when you consider the fact that the sector only has seven stocks, it is pretty impressive. Refinery stocks also had a good third quarter as three stocks in this group (TSO, PSX, and VLO) made the top eleven on our list of top 25 performing stocks. Finally, Google (GOOG) is the highest priced stock on the list. Even with a share price above $500, GOOG managed to rally 28% so far this quarter.
In terms of the quarter's worst performing stocks, some individual Consumer Discretionary stocks were hit particularly hard. Of the 25 names shown below, nine are from the Consumer Discretionary sector, including some former leaders like TripAdvisor (TRIP) and Chipotle (CMG). Some individual Technology names also have had a rough go of it so far this quarter, and they all reflect what many believe to be a secular decline in the PC Industry. Names like AMD, DELL, INTC, and HPQ were all some of the biggest winners of the PC era. Now that the world has gone mobile, though, these companies are being relegated to the trash heap.
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