The Nasdaq Composite Index is a popular market capitalization-weighted stock market index. It is comprised of more than 3,300 common equities and similar securities, like American depositary receipts ADRs, which are traded on the Nasdaq exchange. Along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 index, it is one of the three most-followed indexes of the American stock markets.

Based on market cap, the most-valued companies included in the index are Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Apple, Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL), and Facebook, Inc. (FB).

Key Takeaways

  • The NASDAQ had a solid run in 2019, up 35%. 
  • Analysts expect a 20% upside for the NASDAQ this year. 
  • The top-performing company on the NASDAQ in 2019 was Axsom Therapeutics, up over 1,000%. 
  • Four of the top-performing NASDAQ stocks are biotech companies. 

Opening 2019 near 6,400, the gauge closed the year up 35%. The Nasdaq touched a high of 8,972. The NASDAQ steadily gained throughout 2019. Estimates put the NASDAQ closing at nearly 10,900, suggesting an over 20% gain.

Top-Performing Individual Stocks of the Nasdaq Index

Here’s a look at the top-performing individual stocks of the Nasdaq index in 2019. The list is presented in the order of one-year performance ending Jan. 13, 2020.

1. Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (AXSM)

  • Market cap: $3.2 billion
  • One-year performance: 1,098%

2. Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (RLMD)

  • Market cap: $546 million
  • One-year performance: +693%

3. Hebron Technology Co., Ltd. (HEBT)

  • Market cap: $101 million
  • One-Year performance: 681%

4. Cassava Sciences, Inc. (SAVA)

  • Market cap: $91.14 billion
  • One-Year performance: 669%

5. Kodiak Sciences Inc. (KOD)

  • Market cap: $118.48 billion
  • One-year performance: 664%

Axsome Therapeutics

Axsome is a biopharmaceutical company whose focus is therapies for the central nervous system (CNS). Its key drug is a Phase III clinical trial drug to treat depression—AXS-05. Other notable drugs include those to help treat Alzheimer’s disease and to stop smoking.

Axsome has no earnings, but it recently signed an agreement with Pfizer to use the drug company’s reboxetine. This is the active ingredient in Axsome’s narcolepsy drug AXS-12.

Relmada Therapeutics

Relmada is another biotech company that also focuses on CNS diseases. Its key products include treating depression and neuropathic pain. This biotech company also has no earnings. There are two analysts following the stock, with an average rating of $57, suggesting a 50% upside.

Hebron Technology

Hebron focuses on China, providing valve, pumps, and pipe fittings. The company provides pipeline design and installation. The company has no earnings. In the last month, the stock is down 20%, however. It’s a small company, with only a $20 million market cap. 

Cassava Sciences

Cassava Sciences is another drug company on our list. This company also focuses on nervous system disorders. The company has a couple of Alzheimer’s drugs. The two analysts following the stock have an average price target of $9, suggesting a 34% upside. The company’s stock has soared 311% in the last month.

Kodiak Sciences

Kodiak Sciences is yet another biotech company on the list. Kodiak focuses on retinal diseases. Shares of Kodiak are down 3.5% in the last week and up 4% in the last month. However, shares in just the last three months are up 259%. There are six analysts following the company, with an average price target of $81.25. This would be a 26% upside.