As the first half of 2012 draws to a close, many investors are
looking back on what has been a tumultuous start to the year. The
S&P 500 began the time period with a solid 10.3% gain in the
first three months, leading many to think that a broad and robust
recovery was underway.
However, the most recent quarter has been much less kind to
markets, as the key benchmark finished several percentage points in
the red for Q2, leading the S&P 500 to a roughly 6% gain for
the first half of the year.
While six percent is nothing to sneeze at-especially considering
the incredible weakness in a number of emerging markets and
developed nations around the globe-a few stocks have managed to
trounce this figure to start the year (see
Five ETFs to Buy in 2012
In fact, a handful of stocks in the S&P 500 have surged by
more than 50% already this year including the following
Lennar Corp (
Regions Financial (
Pulte Group (
Sears Holdings (
While as a group there isn't much continuity, there are a few
trends that investors can glean from these outperformers. Clearly,
some in the housing space-LEN and PHM-have seen a rebound in
activity in that crucial market, while the online travel space
seems be heating up as well (as represented by EXPE and TRIP).
Meanwhile, RF has bucked the uncertain trend in financials,
while Sears, which currently has a Zacks Rank of 1 or 'Strong Buy',
has undoubtedly been assisted by its collapse in late 2011 which
made the beginning of January the perfect time to get in on this
retailer for the short-term (see
Can Retail ETFs Surge in 2012?
Do you think any company in this group can keep up their
market-beating performance in the second half of the year?
If not, what sector or stock is your pick for the rest of
Let us know in the comments below!
EXPEDIA INC (EXPE): Free Stock Analysis Report
LENNAR CORP -A (LEN): Free Stock Analysis
PULTE GROUP ONC (PHM): Free Stock Analysis
REGIONS FINL CP (RF): Free Stock Analysis
SEARS HLDG CP (SHLD): Free Stock Analysis
SPDR-SP 500 TR (SPY): ETF Research Reports
TRIPADVISOR INC (TRIP): Free Stock Analysis
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