2018 is coming to a close on Monday, ending a tough year for stock pickers. Many of the year’s big winners took a beating in the final quarter of the year.
The S&P 500 is set to end the year down nearly 6 percent. Stocks lost much of this year’s gains beginning in early October before accelerating this month, in what is likely to be the worst December performance for the S&P 500 since 1931.
Here’s where the best and worst S&P 500 stocks were before the final day of trading this year. Stocks are ranked by year to date performance, with quarter to date performance included for context on the recent widespread sell-off.
Advanced Micro Devices ripped higher by more than 85 percent until mid-September, peaking at $34.14 a share. AMD was riding high on gains in the computer chip market until the company gave a weaker-than-expected outlook for the fourth quarter of this year.
TripAdvisor and Red Hat were the only two 2018 winners to also buck the recent trend, gaining 4.9 percent and 28.1 percent this quarter, respectively. TripAdvisor reported consistently improving earnings throughout the year, boosted by its growing non-hotel business. IBM announced plans in October to acquire Red Hat in cash at $190 a share, a 60 percent premium from Red Hat’s stock price when the deal was revealed.
Cosmetics giant Coty is on pace to be this year’s worst performer, cratering more than 67 percent. The stock has sold off nearly ever month of 2018. Coty replaced both its chief executive and chairman in November, as the company has struggled to fine benefit from the 41 brands it acquired from Procter & Gamble in 2016.
General Electric is set to finish a tumultuous year down over 57 percent. This year, GE revealed federal investigations into its accounting practices, was kicked off the Dow index, replaced its CEO with outsider Larry Culp, split up its struggling power business, slashed its long-beloved dividend to a token amount and is fighting to keep its bonds from becoming junk-rated. But the stock has rebounded since touching $6.66, the lowest close of the financial crisis. Two widely-followed Wall Street analysts upgraded GE’s stock in December, pointing to opportunity amid the company’s