The S&P 500 Index is a market-capitalization-weighted index of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. It is widely regarded as the best gauge of large-cap U.S. equities. Some of the largest companies in the index include Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL), and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). The S&P 500 posted a 12-month trailing total return of 32.4% as of December 30, 2019.

Below, we'll look at the top stocks for January with regard to value, growth, and momentum.

Stocks with the Best Value

These are the stocks from the S&P 500 with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Stocks with the Best Value
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E
Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) 65.62 12.6 4.2
Macy's Inc. (M) 16.88 5.2 5.3
ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC)      41.69 25.7 5.4
Source: Investopedia
  • Vornado Realty Trust: Vornado Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT), that owns office, retail, merchandise mart properties, and other real estate and related investments. On December 18, VNO announced a special dividend of $1.95 a share as the result of property sales.
  • Macy's Inc.: Macy's operates department stores nationwide that offer a wide range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings, and other consumer goods. The retailer announced on December 12 that it had appointed Torrence Boone, formerly an advertising VP at Google, to its board of directors.
  • ViacomCBS Inc.: ViacomCBS is a multimedia company engaged in the operation of broadcasting, television production, and publishing businesses that serve audiences around the world. It was formed out of the merger of Viacom and CBS which merged on December 4, 2019.

Stocks with the Fastest Earnings Growth

These are the stocks from the S&P 500 with the fastest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Stocks with the Fastest Earnings Growth
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Newmont Goldcorp Corp. (NEM) 42.71 35.0 723.6
Welltower Inc. (WELL) 80.96 32.9 574.1
ServiceNow Inc. (NOW) 286.88 54.1 462.1
Source: Investopedia, Newmont, Welltower, and ServiceNow Company Reports
  • Newmont Goldcorp Corp.: Newmont Goldcorp acquires, explores, and develops mineral properties, and engages in the production and marketing of gold and copper. On December 2, Newmont announced a $1 billion stock buyback program.
  • Welltower Inc.: Welltower operates as a REIT that invests in senior housing and properties involved in health care services. Welltower recently announced plans to acquire a medical office building portfolio for $1.7 billion, dramatically expanding its holdings.
  • ServiceNow Inc.: Software and cloud services management company ServiceNow is focused on the information technology space. The company recently shifted some of its executive leadership, bringing on Gina Mastantuono as CFO, effective in January of 2020.

Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the stocks from the S&P 500 that had the greatest total return over the past 12 months.

Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) 46.18 53.9 164.0
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) 293.70 42.6 125.1
KLA Corp. (KLA) 178.52 28.2 107.1
S&P 500 (
SPY
N/A N/A 21.3
Source: YCharts
  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc.: Also known as AMD, Advanced Micro Devices manufactures semiconductors and related products like microprocessors and graphics cards. The company announced on December 16 that it was appointing Michael Gregoire to its board of directors. Gregoire was previously a CEO of CA Technologies, a software company that was purchased by Broadcom in 2018 
  • Lam Research Corp.: Lam Research is a manufacturer and servicer of semiconductor equipment used in making integrated circuits.
  • KLA Corp.: KLA manufactures equipment that helps test and control the microchip manufacturing process.