2018 has already proved to be a remarkable year in terms of stock market volatility. At several points, the market dropped by more than 3% during the year.
The year of historic volatility in stocks
2018 had a rather sluggish start with stocks stumbling at the beginning of February. When volatility spiked, the markets oscillated from stable to shaky. Investors have been taken on a roller coaster ride, as concerns went back and forth from a slow economy to an overheating one.
According to analysis conducted by Bespoke Investment Group, the most similar year to 2018 in terms of market performance is 1942.
Stock market biggest movers: top share risers and fallers
As the year is reaching its end, we decided to take a closer look at the top share risers and biggest fallers of 2018. To filter our research, we took into account only the top 200 of our most traded instruments during the year. Some of the best performers in this list may surprise you.
Top stock winners of 2018
Are you ready? Let’s see which companies became the biggest stock gainers for the year, as of 27 November 2018:
As you can see, it is a star-studded cast, with many world-famous brands up more than 20%! Now, let’s focus on the top 5 most-traded stocks from the winners’ list.
Advanced Micro Devices: Up 102.41%
The second-largest producer of microprocessors in the world, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) is considered the only significant competitor to Intel. Since the acquisition of ATI in 2006, AMD and Nvidia have been sharing domination of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) market.
In 2018, AMD’s stock is rated as the best performing amongst the chip producers in the S&P 500 index. According to the results of the second-quarter of 2018, AMD sales are up by 53% in comparison with the same period in 2017, due to the success of the company’s computing, graphics and enterprise hardware.
Netflix: Up 36.1%
The streaming-TV giant Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is another big winner of 2018.
During the year, investors have been bullish on the company’s stock due to its growing performance in terms of its financials and users.
Netflix has achieved a significant increase in revenue of 43.2%, which is the fastest pace the company's streaming business has ever grown. Moreover, the company has managed to increase the number of subscribers by 7.41 million.
Twitter: Up 35.83%
As of late 2018, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) had 325 million active monthly users. One of the world’s most popular social networks has shown strength in terms of its stock market performance, with its shares up by 35.83%.
The company experienced a huge swing from a net loss of $62 million in 2017 to a net profit of $61 million in the first quarter of 2018. For now, Twitter shows year-on-year double-digit growth in active daily users, which has had the power to send the TWTR stock price flying high in 2018.
Amazon: Up 34.65%
After a sharp 56% gain in 2017, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) continued 2018 impressing investors yet again with its outstanding performance. The world famous e-commerce company has cemented its position as the leader in online retail.
In the second quarter of 2018, the company reported a record-setting $2.5 billion in profit, which is 1,200% more than $197 million in the same quarter of 2017. These results are supported by the outstanding performance of the company’s cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Microsoft: Up 24.48%
In 2018, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has shown how the company's transition to a cloud-based business model is paying dividends.
According to the second quarter results, Microsoft increased its revenue by $3.1 billion or 12%, This was driven by growth across each of the company’s business segments. In particular, Microsoft has largely benefited from a massive growth in its commercial cloud revenue, including Office 365, Azure and Dynamics 365 products.
Top share fallers of 2018
Of course, if there are gainers then there have to be losers. As with the top traded share risers, we’ve shortlisted the biggest share fallers traded in 2018 for you. Here they are:
This list also includes many big names, known to traders and the wider public. Let’s find out what has happened with the top 5 most-traded stocks from the fallers’ list in 2018.
General Electric: Down 57.66%
It’s been a difficult year for General Electric (NYSE: GE). The company’s shares fell by 57%, which is even a bigger loss than in 2017.
Since January 2018, the General Electric stock has lost more than a half of its value. As a result, the company was ejected from the Dow, which may well have contributed to the drop in the share price.
Snap: Down 56.36%
The technology company behind Snapchat, Zenly, Bitmoji and Spectacles, Snap (NYSE: SNAP) has lost 56% of its value since the beginning of 2018. The decline has been driven by intense competition (mostly from Instagram) and a sharp decline in active daily users.
eBay: Down 24.39%
The shares of the global e-commerce company eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) has experienced more than a 20% decline in 2018. Analysts have lowered their growth estimates for eBay in 2019, which has fuelled further negative sentiment amongst investors.
Facebook: Down 23.94%
2018 has been a rough year for Facebook (NASDAQ: FB). The stock of the most famous online social media network has been falling heavily since July.
Concerns about data privacy also had a severe impact on Facebook’s stock price. The Cambridge Analytica scandal was one of 2018’s biggest news stories – and hit investor sentiment, with the shares dropping by more than 24% in March 2018.
NVIDIA: Down 21.37%
In recent years, a global leader in visual and graphics processing units, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) has benefited tremendously from the growing demand for GPUs from the gaming industry.
However, in spite of a rather strong financial performance, NVIDIA stock has declined by slightly more than 20% this year. There are several reasons for this, including the crypto market bubble bursting, which slowed down the sales of Pascal GPUs; and the announcement by some large NVIDIA clients – such as Tesla – that they would build their own chips.
Though Christmas trees have already been decorated in different parts of the world, we still have a month before the year is over. Stock markets still have some time to surprise us again before the year ends. And maybe it’s time for you to start composing the list of your ‘favourites’ for 2019.