Apple Leads 5 Best Performers In Worst Year| Investor’s Business Daily


After a strong start to 2020, the stock market tumbled in March amid the coronavirus crash. But Dow Jones stocks finished the year strong, hitting record highs at the end of December.




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The best Dow Jones stock performers of 2020 were Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Nike (NKE), Salesforce (CRM) and Disney (DIS), which saw the biggest gain in Q4.

No. 1 Dow Jones Stock Of 2020

Apple stock is up 83.7% for the year, far outpacing the 5.6% gain for the overall Dow Jones stock index, as Apple devices became the center of virtual work, school, fitness and socializing. Shares hit a record high in September, on a split-adjusted basis in intraday trading, following its June-quarter earnings report. For Q4, shares have climbed a more modest 16.4%.

Apple edged up 0.3% to 135.29 on the stock market Wednesday, forming a cup base and near a 138.08 buy point.

The relative strength line for Apple stock has risen almost to a new high. The RS line, the blue line in the chart below, tracks a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index.

Apple stock has an IBD Composite Rating of 88 out of 99, according to the IBD Stock Checkup tool. The Composite Rating compiles scores on key fundamental and technical metrics: earnings and sales growth, profit margins, return on equity, and relative price performance. It has an 81 EPS Rating. Both Apple and Microsoft stock are on IBD Leaderboard.

Analysts say Apple stock is poised for a promising 2021 with the iPhone 12, its first 5G phone, potentially creating an upgrade supercycle. Some analysts think that iPhone 12 sales will top its record-setting iPhone 6 sales.

Microsoft Stock

The software giant is up 41.5% in 2020 as PC sales increased during the major shift toward working from home. In Q4, it’s up 6.1%, lagging the 9.6% advance for Dow Jones stocks as a whole.

Microsoft also owns LinkedIn, Skype and GitHub and is a major player in the cloud computing space vs. competitor Amazon (AMZN).

The Dow Jones stock has been consolidating with a buy point of 232.96. In April, Microsoft stock broke out of a double-bottom base with a 175.10 buy point then hit a record high of 232.86 on Sept. 2.

Shares have a 94 EPS rating but just a 78 Composite Rating. Investors should focus on stocks with a Composite Rating of 90 or higher.

Nike Stock

Shares have jumped 39.7% this year, hitting new highs in late December as digital sales and app usage surged. For Q4, they are up 12.7%.

Nike stock sold off in the coronavirus stock market correction back in March but rebounded quickly, breaking out from a cup-with-handle base in June. Shares were in buy range Wednesday, rising 0.3% to 141.97, passing a three-weeks-tight pattern with a 141.24 entry point. This type of base allows investors with a stake in Nike to add shares.

The company said its app downloads soared after it made in-app workouts free in the early stages of the pandemic lockdowns. Nike Training Club weekly active users were up triple digits in fiscal Q4. But Nike faces competition in the future as Apple announced its own new subscription workout service, Apple Fitness+, in December.

Nike has a 68 EPS Rating and an 84 Composite Rating.

Salesforce Stock

The cloud-based software developer saw demand for its collaboration tools soar amid the coronavirus pandemic. Shares are up 36.9% for the year but are down 11.4% in Q4, making it the worst blue chip for the quarter.

Salesforce agreed to pay $27.7 billion for business technology platform Slack (WORK) on Dec. 1. But shares sold off on the news. The deal is set to close in July 2021. Salesforce is also investing heavily in artificial intelligence.

In October and early November, Salesforce formed a double-bottom base. But the stock is ending the year under its 50-day line and is headed down toward its 200-day line.

Salesforce stock is the newest Dow Jones stock, instated on Aug. 31 to replace struggling oil major Exxon Mobil (XOM).

Best Dow Jones Stock Of Q4

Disney had a roller coaster of a year, diving 40% in March when its amusement parks around the world closed, while darkened cinemas cut off box office revenue for its films. And suspended pro sports seasons left ESPN with no fresh content for ads.

But shares have since soared to new highs as its Disney+ streaming service saw subscriber numbers take off with an onslaught of new content on the way. Meanwhile, the approval of coronavirus vaccines is bullish for theme parks and movie theaters.

Disney stock is up 25.5% for the year but has jumped 46.3% in Q4, making it the top-performing Dow Jones stock for the quarter.

Shares climbed 1.5% to 180 Wednesday, in profit-taking range from a 131.46 buy point of a double-bottom base. Disney has a 51 Composite Rating and a low 14 EPS rating.

Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter for investing news and more.

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