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), Facebook Inc. (FB), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The S&P 500's total return is 23.0% over the past 12 months. This market performance number and the statistics in the tables below are as of August 25.

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) 34.70 8.5 2.2
NortonLifeLock Inc. (NLOK) 23.46 13.9 3.8
Unum Group (UNM) 18.78 3.8 4.0

Source: YCharts

  • NRG Energy Inc.: NRG Energy is an integrated power company that produces, sells, and distributes energy and provides energy services in the U.S.
  • NortonLifeLock Inc.: NortonLifeLock is a consumer cyber safety company, offering solutions that enable users to protect their electronic devices, online privacy, identity, and home networks. For the company's Q1 FY 2021, ended July 3, 2020, NortonLifeLock reported a year-over-year (YOY) increase in consumer revenue of 4% and consumer reported billings growth of 9%. The report comes as NortonLifeLock is making the transition to a pure-play consumer company, which will be completed by the end of August.
  • Unum Group: Unum provides disability insurance, group life insurance, and payroll-deducted voluntary benefits for employees primarily at U.S. corporations. The company reported falling net income on a revenue gain of less than 1% for Q2 2020, which ended June 30, 2020. Several business lines experienced high mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company suspended its financial guidance for the rest of 2020.

Fastest Growing Stocks

These are the stocks with the highest 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 (%)
Kimco Realty Corp. (KIM) 11.85 5.1 755.0
Eversource Energy (ES) 85.88 29.4 650.0
Ford Motor Co. (F) 6.98 27.8 600.0

Source: YCharts

  • Kimco Realty Corp.: Kimco Realty is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates open-air shopping centers across the U.S. Most of the company's properties are anchored by a grocery store and big box store. The company reported Q2 pro-rata portfolio occupancy of 95.6%. CEO Conor Flynn said that all of Kimco's shopping centers remained open and operational in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Eversource Energy: Utility holding company Eversource Energy provides electric and natural gas service to customers throughout much of the northeastern U.S. through its subsidiaries.
  • Ford Motor Co.: Ford Motor is a designer and manufacturer of cars and trucks. The company also provides vehicle servicing, financing, leasing, and insurance. On July 30, Ford reported -$1.9 billion in adjusted EBIT in Q2 2020 amid plunging sales related to COVID-19. However, the EBIT loss was more than $3 billion better than expected.

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 (%)
NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) 508.81 313.9 214.1
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) 83.08 97.5 181.2
Apple Inc. (AAPL) 503.43 2,152 150.9
S&P 500 N/A N/A 23.0

Source: YCharts

  • NVIDIA Corp.: NVIDIA engages in the design, development, and manufacture of computer graphics processors, chipsets, and related multimedia software. For the company's Q2 FY 2021, ended July 26, NVIDIA reported rising net income on a 50% jump in revenue. This growth was driven in part by increasing adoption of NVIDIA's products in video games and luxury vehicles.
  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc.: Advanced Micro Devices makes microprocessors, chipsets, and multimedia products, among others items. On July 28, AMD reported Q2 results, including a 26.1% increase in revenue as net income rose 348.6%. Sales of AMD's Ryzen and EPYC processors contributed significantly to growth.
  • 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.