2020 has been a year of ups and downs. The year, too many, felt like a repeat telecast of The Great Recession. Trade experts even opined that the past 12 months reminded them of the Dot Com Bubble from years ago. There were job losses, pay cuts, businesses shutting down, and companies suffering losses. It was truly a chaotic year for businesses and investors alike.
The faith of investors remained unbridled even amid the chaos. The markets continued to fight and rise which is evident from the U.S. indices including NASDAQ 100 and S&P 500 hitting all-time highs as we near the end of an eventful 2020. We have seen companies adopting path-breaking measures to stay in business. We saw the focus of the entire world shift to healthcare and pharma companies again.
The markets remained resilient in the hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine would come out and bring normalcy back to the market. Markets are hopeful of a continuing economic recovery in presence of monetary and policy support by the Fed and the government.
Here is a peek into the most traded stocks in 2020:
In the tech sector, not far from expectations, giants like Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) have been at the center of attention in the view of investors. A Cloud computing stock, namely, Shopify (SHOP) has also been one of the most traded stocks on the Stockal platform in the year 2020. Vaccine positive stock Moderna (MRNA) has also seen significant investor participation with increased volumes in 2020.
Top traded stocks for 2020
Big Techs have exhibited increased market capitalization and have outperformed the broader market index.
Amazon (AMZN): E-commerce giant controls close to 39% of all e-commerce sales in the US. The company’s cloud infrastructure segment known as Amazon Web Services (AWS) is likely to drive the long-term growth for the company thereby significantly adding to the company’s operating income. The stock is likely to continue its uptrend with revenue growth estimates of 17% and an EPS growth estimate of over 40% as per analysts’ forecasts.
APPLE (AAPL): Apple’s focus on innovation helped the company position itself as one of the most valuable global brands. The company is investing in key growth markets and has a strong long-term growth potential. Apple hiked its dividend by 6.5% to its customers in the current quarter of 2020. The company estimates over 10% of revenue growth and 21% of EPS growth for 2021.
Microsoft (MSFT): The Company crossed $1 trillion in market capitalization and has re-invented itself to emerge as the second-largest cloud computing provider, thanks in large to its Azure platform. Analysts see a potential uptrend for the company for 2021 in the cloud-gaming services with Xbox Series X and S console launches and with the purchase of Bethesda Softworks. Predictably, there is a potential of $80 billion for the company’s gaming subscription business alone.
Tesla (TSLA): This electric car makers’ addition into the S&P 500 during the week has been the largest ever, with a market capitalization of $650 billion and the sixth biggest company in the large-cap benchmark. The company has offered returns of over 700% in this year amid the pandemic. The company currently is trading at 186 times forward earnings and is one of the most expensive companies to join the S&P 500.
Nio (NIO): The Chinese electric vehicle maker is up almost 19 times in the past year. Investors are closely watching the company’s recent fund raising plans worth $3 billion, which is mostly used to develop new vehicles and to fund its continuing R&D of autonomous – vehicle technologies. The company plans to expand its sales with the launch of two new sedans in 2021.
Shopify (SHOP): Investors are likely to continue their positive sentiment towards the e-commerce platform company as businesses continue to rely on Shopify to sell their goods and services online during the pandemic. This has pushed the stock higher up by 195% this year. Increasing demand on both the merchant and consumer side on the platform is likely to continue thereby increasing revenues for the company in 2021.
Moderna (MRNA): The Company being at the forefront of the Covid-19 vaccine has seen its shares soar by over 600% this year. Recently, Moderna was granted ’emergency use authorisation’ by the U.S. FDA and this helped the company sail smoothly through the clinical trials. Coronavirus stocks have largely outpaced analysts’ targets this year and considering the revenue potential for 2021, the stock is likely to touch $185 as per analysts’ estimates.
So to conclude, after a powerful rally in 2020 amid the pandemic, investors are now looking at overall economic recovery and its impact on markets. All eyes are now set on the vaccine becoming available to the public. The investors do foresee manufacturing and distribution challenges with approved vaccines.
In the coming quarters, markets are likely to take a cue from the progress on vaccine distribution and corporate earnings being impacted by the pandemic. This will indicate the direction of the markets going into 2021.
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