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5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks Halfway Through Q1

After a weak start to 2024, Wall Street regained momentum, driven by a solid earnings season, a resilient economy and a technology surge. In fact, the S&P 500 topped the major milestone of 5,000 for the first time ever earlier this month.

As such, we have highlighted five stocks from the S&P 500 that have gained more than 25% halfway through the first quarter and have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy), or #3 (Hold). These are Nvidia NVDA, Eli Lilly and Company LLY, Meta Platforms META, Uber Technologies, Inc UBER and Ralph Lauren Corp. RL. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Total fourth-quarter earnings of the 387 S&P 500 members who have reported results so far increased 5.1% from the prior-year period on 3.4% higher revenues. Of the companies that reported results, 79.1% beat EPS estimates and 65.1% surpassed revenue estimates. The pace of earnings and revenue growth represents an acceleration from the last couple of quarters, with the technology sector being a major contributor to this improving trend. Notably, the earnings growth is the best growth rate for the S&P 500 companies since the 6.5% earnings growth rate in the first quarter of 2022.

The resilience of the U.S. economy has played a crucial role in the stock market ascent, although it has reduced the likelihood of a near-term rate cut. Factors like robust retail sales, consumer sentiment and a cooling trend in the producer price index indicate the possibility of the Fed achieving a soft landing, bringing inflation back to target without triggering a recession. This economic resilience, coupled with surging shares of big technology companies and optimism over artificial intelligence, has been a significant driver of the market's upward trajectory.

Best-Performing Stocks

Nvidia is the worldwide leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of graphic processing unit or GPU. The stock has jumped 47% so far this year. It saw a solid earnings estimate revision of 23 cents over the past month for the fiscal year ending January 2025 and has an estimated growth of 64.5%.

Nvidia has a Zacks Rank #2 at present and a Growth Score of A.

Eli Lilly is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. It boasts a diversified product profile, including a solid lineup of new and successful drugs. It also has a dependable pipeline as it navigates through challenges like patent expirations of several drugs and rising pricing pressure on its U.S. diabetes franchise. The stock has rallied 34% this year.

Eli Lilly has an estimated earnings growth rate of 96.2% for this year. It has a Zacks Rank #3 and a Growth Score of B.

Meta Platforms is the world’s largest social media platform. The company’s portfolio offering evolved from a single Facebook app to multiple apps like the photo and video sharing app Instagram and WhatsApp messaging app due to acquisitions. The stock has jumped 34% so far this year. Meta saw a solid earnings estimate revision of $1.91 over the past month for this year, with an estimated earnings growth rate of 31.9%.

Meta Platforms has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of B.

Uber develops and operates proprietary technology applications in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, excluding China and Southeast Asia. The stock has gained 27.3% so far this year. Uber saw a positive earnings estimate revision of 8 cents over the past 30 days for this year and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 32.2%.

The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A.

Ralph Lauren is a major designer, marketer and distributor of premium lifestyle products in North America, Europe, Asia and internationally. It offers products in apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, and other licensed product categories. The stock has risen 25.4% so far this year. It saw a solid earnings estimate revision of 68 cents over the past 30 days for the fiscal year ending March 2024 and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 21.2%.

Ralph Lauren has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of A.

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Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Uber Technologies, Inc. (UBER) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Meta Platforms, Inc. (META) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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