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's total return declined 9.6% over the past 12 months. This market performance number and the statistics in the tables below are as of March 16.

Here are the top 3 stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Stocks

These are the stocks 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.

Best Value Stocks

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
NRG Energy Inc. (NRG 28.85 7.1 1.7
ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC) 16.40 10.1 2.1
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) 11.10 2.4 2.6

Source: YCharts

  • NRG Energy Inc.: NRG Energy is an integrated power company that produces, sells, and distributes energy and energy services. The company provides energy production and cogeneration facilities, thermal energy production, and energy resource facilities.
  • ViacomCBS Inc.: ViacomCBS is a global multimedia company focused on creating premium content and experiences for audiences across the world. The company provides cable networks, content production and distribution, television stations, and digital streaming services. It also operates other internet-based businesses as well as consumer publishing. ViacomCBS announced at the end of January that George Cheeks would become President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Entertainment Group, effective March 23, 2020. He will succeed Chairman and CEO Joe Ianniello.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: Norwegian Cruise Line operates a fleet of passenger cruise ships with itineraries in North America, Mediterranean, Baltic, Central America, Bermuda, and Caribbean. The company announced recently that it was suspending all cruise voyages between March 13 and April 11 to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Fastest Growing Stocks

These are the stocks with the highest 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.

Fastest Growing Stocks

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) 70.75 89.4 91,710
Newmont Corp. (NEM) 39.50 31.9 18,360
ServiceNow Inc. (NOW) 287.67 54.6 7,480

Source: YCharts

  • Gilead Sciences Inc.: Gilead Sciences makes drugs for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), liver disease, respiratory diseases, and other ailments. The company announced earlier in March that it has agreed to acquire Forty Seven Inc. (FTSV) for $4.9 billion. The deal is expected to close sometime during the second quarter.
  • Newmont Corp.: Newmont acquires and develops mineral properties. The company produces primarily gold, but also silver, copper, zinc, and lead.
  • ServiceNow Inc.: ServiceNow provides enterprise cloud computing solutions. The company offers cloud-based services that automate workflow within and between the separate departments of an enterprise. ServiceNow announced at the end of January that is has agreed to acquire Passage AI, a conversational AI platform company.

Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Stocks with the Most Momentum

 

Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) 43.90 51.4 87.8
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) 261.78 38.1 56.9
Apple Inc. (AAPL) 277.97 1,216 55.0
S&P 500 (SPY) N/A N/A  -9.6

Source: YCharts

  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc.: Advanced Micro Devices is a global semiconductor company that offers products such as microprocessors, chipsets, graphics, video and multimedia products, and provides assembling, testing, and packaging services. The company announced in January a number of promotions and a new hire to join its senior leadership team.
  • Lam Research Corp.: Lam Research supplies wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry. The company designs, manufactures, markets, and services semiconductor processing systems that are used in the fabrication of integrated circuits.
  • Apple Inc.: Apple is engaged in the design, manufacture, and sale of smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables and accessories, and a variety of other related software, services, and networking solutions. The company recently announced that in response to the spread of COVID-19 it was closing all of its stores outside Greater China until March 27. All of the company's stores in Greater China have reopened.