The market close on March 9, 2009 is considered the end of the U.S. stock market's bottom and the start of a bull market that celebrates its ninth anniversary today. As of 2:45 EST the S&P 500 is up more than 300% from its 676.53 point close that day. No doubt, we have come a long way. Here's a look at the stocks that drove these gains and the sectors that proved to be the best bets.
Techs Rule the Table
High-profile tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Netflix Inc. (NFLX) are among the leaders of the index. According to FactSet data, Netflix has returned nearly 7,000% to investors since the market's nadir nine years ago, when it closed the day's trade at $5.50. Its push into original content has helped the streaming company become a force to reckon with. Meanwhile, Amazon's dominance and industry disruption across sectors has put the company in the second spot with stock returns of more than 2,300%.
Another top performer is Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA) a high-end cosmetic and skincare brand that has successfully warded off heightened competition from Amazon and survived the retail apocalypse. It has gained 1,449% over the past nine years. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA), though not in the top five, merits an honorable mention with a 1,231% rally, as high growth segments such as artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars fuel demand for semiconductors.
Energy company Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) found itself to be the worst performer during this period, losing 92%. In fact, three out of the top six laggards are energy companies whose fortunes have turned for the worse. Insurance giant AIG never quite recovered from the financial crisis and the stock lost 91.5% since the beginning of the bull run.
Consumer services has been the best performing sector since the bottom, up 611%. Health technology and retail trade came in next with a 438% increase, followed by electronic technology (409%) and technology services (388.5%).