Year in review: Best-performing stocks of 2020

Written by:
January 8, 2021
Bro Crock // Shutterstock

Year in review: Best-performing stocks of 2020

The stock market weathered a highly unpredictable year in 2020 that saw lows and highs that broke historic records within months of each other. The year started and ended bullish, with long stretches of immense uncertainty.

Massive sell-offs beginning in February amid the coronavirus outbreak caused a stock market crash on March 9, representing the biggest point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) history. By the end of the year, however, the market saw record highs. These historic ups and downs of 2020 made for a volatile market, but proved out again the value in investors being more mindful of long-term performance rather than hourly (or monthly) changes.

Stacker compiled a list of the best performing stocks of 2020 using data from IEX Cloud. Stocks in the S&P 500 were considered. Stocks are ranked by total return.

The stocks represented here don’t necessarily represent the best stocks to invest in currently, just as not all investments work for all portfolios. Keep reading to see which stocks performed best in 2020.

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Olga Miltsova // Shutterstock

#50. Maxim Integrated Products Inc

- Total return: 46.5%
- Price return: 44.1%
- Dividend return: 2.3%
- Ticker: MXIM
- Sector: information technology

2 / 50
Jirapatphoto // Shutterstock

#49. Xilinx

- Total return: 46.5%
- Price return: 45.0%
- Dividend return: 1.5%
- Ticker: XLNX
- Sector: information technology

3 / 50
Tada Images // Shutterstock

#48. KLA Corporation

- Total return: 47.3%
- Price return: 45.3%
- Dividend return: 2.0%
- Ticker: KLAC
- Sector: information technology

4 / 50
Jeff Bukowski // Shutterstock

#47. United Parcel Service

- Total return: 47.3%
- Price return: 43.9%
- Dividend return: 3.5%
- Ticker: UPS
- Sector: industrials

5 / 50
Lutsenko_Oleksandr // Shutterstock

#46. PerkinElmer

- Total return: 48.1%
- Price return: 47.8%
- Dividend return: 0.3%
- Ticker: PKI
- Sector: health care

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Michael Vi // Shutterstock

#45. Zebra Technologies

- Total return: 50.5%
- Price return: 50.5%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: ZBRA
- Sector: information technology

7 / 50
fizkes // Shutterstock

#44. MarketAxess

- Total return: 51.1%
- Price return: 50.5%
- Dividend return: 0.6%
- Ticker: MKTX
- Sector: financials

8 / 50
jejim // Shutterstock

#43. Adobe Inc.

- Total return: 51.6%
- Price return: 51.6%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: ADBE
- Sector: information technology

9 / 50
Jonathan Weiss // Shutterstock

#42. Tractor Supply Company

- Total return: 52.1%
- Price return: 50.4%
- Dividend return: 1.6%
- Ticker: TSCO
- Sector: consumer discretionary

10 / 50
Pumidol // Shutterstock

#41. IPG Photonics Corp.

- Total return: 54.4%
- Price return: 54.4%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: IPGP
- Sector: information technology

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Sundry Photography

#40. SVB Financial

- Total return: 54.5%
- Price return: 54.5%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: SIVB
- Sector: financials

12 / 50
Andriy Blokhin // Shutterstock

#39. Old Dominion Freight Line

- Total return: 54.7%
- Price return: 54.3%
- Dividend return: 0.5%
- Ticker: ODFL
- Sector: industrials

13 / 50
Rosemarie Mosteller // Shutterstock

#38. DaVita Inc.

- Total return: 56.5%
- Price return: 56.5%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: DVA
- Sector: health care

14 / 50
Eric Broder Van Dyke // Shutterstock

#37. Activision Blizzard

- Total return: 57.0%
- Price return: 56.3%
- Dividend return: 0.7%
- Ticker: ATVI
- Sector: communication services

15 / 50
Krizek Vaclav // Shutterstock

#36. Deere & Co.

- Total return: 57.0%
- Price return: 55.3%
- Dividend return: 1.8%
- Ticker: DE
- Sector: industrials

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16 / 50
Tina comm // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Bio-Rad Laboratories

- Total return: 57.5%
- Price return: 57.5%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: BIO
- Sector: health care

17 / 50
Macro photo // Shutterstock

#34. Lam Research

- Total return: 63.2%
- Price return: 61.5%
- Dividend return: 1.7%
- Ticker: LRCX
- Sector: information technology

18 / 50
Northfoto // Shutterstock

#33. Chipotle Mexican Grill

- Total return: 65.7%
- Price return: 65.7%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: CMG
- Sector: consumer discretionary

19 / 50
JL IMAGES // Shutterstock

#32. Autodesk Inc.

- Total return: 66.4%
- Price return: 66.4%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: ADSK
- Sector: information technology

20 / 50
Vantage_DS // Shutterstock

#31. Netflix Inc.

- Total return: 67.1%
- Price return: 67.1%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: NFLX
- Sector: communication services

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Sundry Photography // Shutterstock

#30. Twitter Inc.

- Total return: 69.0%
- Price return: 69.0%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: TWTR
- Sector: communication services

22 / 50
Michael Vi // Shutterstock

#29. DexCom

- Total return: 69.0%
- Price return: 69.0%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: DXCM
- Sector: health care

23 / 50
Pixel-Shot // Shutterstock

#28. Take-Two Interactive

- Total return: 69.7%
- Price return: 69.7%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: TTWO
- Sector: communication services

24 / 50
rafapress // Shutterstock

#27. Paycom

- Total return: 70.8%
- Price return: 70.8%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: PAYC
- Sector: information technology

25 / 50
Antonio Gravante // Shutterstock

#26. FedEx Corporation

- Total return: 73.4%
- Price return: 71.7%
- Dividend return: 1.7%
- Ticker: FDX
- Sector: industrials

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Bro Crock // Shutterstock

#25. MSCI Inc

- Total return: 74.1%
- Price return: 73.0%
- Dividend return: 1.1%
- Ticker: MSCI
- Sector: financials

27 / 50
Roman Tiraspolsky // Shutterstock

#24. T-Mobile US

- Total return: 74.2%
- Price return: 74.2%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: TMUS
- Sector: communication services

28 / 50
Sundry Photography // Shutterstock

#23. QUALCOMM Inc.

- Total return: 75.6%
- Price return: 72.7%
- Dividend return: 2.9%
- Ticker: QCOM
- Sector: information technology

29 / 50
Hadrian // Shutterstock

#22. Amazon.com Inc.

- Total return: 76.3%
- Price return: 76.3%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: AMZN
- Sector: consumer discretionary

30 / 50
Michael Vi // Shutterstock

#21. Teradyne

- Total return: 76.4%
- Price return: 75.8%
- Dividend return: 0.6%
- Ticker: TER
- Sector: information technology

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31 / 50
NadyaEugene // Shutterstock

#20. Pool Corporation

- Total return: 76.5%
- Price return: 75.4%
- Dividend return: 1.1%
- Ticker: POOL
- Sector: consumer discretionary

32 / 50
HacKLeR // Shutterstock

#19. Quanta Services Inc.

- Total return: 77.4%
- Price return: 76.9%
- Dividend return: 0.5%
- Ticker: PWR
- Sector: industrials

33 / 50
hedgehog94 // Shutterstock

#18. Rollins Inc.

- Total return: 77.9%
- Price return: 76.7%
- Dividend return: 1.2%
- Ticker: ROL
- Sector: industrials

34 / 50
View Apart // Shutterstock

#17. Apple Inc.

- Total return: 81.8%
- Price return: 80.7%
- Dividend return: 1.1%
- Ticker: AAPL
- Sector: information technology

35 / 50
Bigone // Shutterstock

#16. Catalent

- Total return: 84.8%
- Price return: 84.8%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: CTLT
- Sector: health care

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36 / 50
Sundry Photography // Shutterstock

#15. Synopsys Inc.

- Total return: 86.2%
- Price return: 86.2%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: SNPS
- Sector: information technology

37 / 50
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#14. West Pharmaceutical Services

- Total return: 88.9%
- Price return: 88.5%
- Dividend return: 0.4%
- Ticker: WST
- Sector: health care

38 / 50
Terelyuk // Shutterstock

#13. ABIOMED Inc

- Total return: 90.0%
- Price return: 90.0%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: ABMD
- Sector: health care

39 / 50
Eyesonmilan // Shutterstock

#12. IDEXX Laboratories

- Total return: 91.4%
- Price return: 91.4%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: IDXX
- Sector: health care

40 / 50
Jose Luis Carrascosa // Shutterstock

#11. Align Technology

- Total return: 91.5%
- Price return: 91.5%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: ALGN
- Sector: health care

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41 / 50
Sundry Photography // Shutterstock

#10. ServiceNow

- Total return: 95.0%
- Price return: 95.0%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: NOW
- Sector: information technology

42 / 50
Michael Vi // Shutterstock

#9. Cadence Design Systems

- Total return: 96.7%
- Price return: 96.7%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: CDNS
- Sector: information technology

43 / 50
tishomir // Shutterstock

#8. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

- Total return: 98.7%
- Price return: 98.3%
- Dividend return: 0.4%
- Ticker: FCX
- Sector: materials

44 / 50
Tada Images // Shutterstock

#7. Advanced Micro Devices Inc

- Total return: 100.0%
- Price return: 100.0%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: AMD
- Sector: information technology

45 / 50
Dmitry Kalinovsky // Shutterstock

#6. Albemarle Corp

- Total return: 104.1%
- Price return: 102.0%
- Dividend return: 2.1%
- Ticker: ALB
- Sector: materials

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Sorbis // Shutterstock

#5. L Brands Inc.

- Total return: 106.9%
- Price return: 105.2%
- Dividend return: 1.7%
- Ticker: LB
- Sector: consumer discretionary

47 / 50
MariaX // Shutterstock

#4. PayPal

- Total return: 116.5%
- Price return: 116.5%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: PYPL
- Sector: information technology

48 / 50
Michael Vi // Shutterstock

#3. Nvidia Corporation

- Total return: 122.2%
- Price return: 121.9%
- Dividend return: 0.3%
- Ticker: NVDA
- Sector: information technology

49 / 50
rblfmr // Shutterstock

#2. Etsy

- Total return: 301.6%
- Price return: 301.6%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: ETSY
- Sector: consumer discretionary

50 / 50
Sheila Fitzgerald // Shutterstock

#1. Tesla

- Total return: 743.4%
- Price return: 743.4%
- Dividend return: 0.0%
- Ticker: TSLA
- Sector: consumer discretionary

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