Wall Street apparently stuttered at the start of 2018 with key equity gauges still struggling to stay green in the year-to-date frame. The S&P 500 is down 1.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has shed about 2.3% and the NASDAQ Composite is off 0.2% (as of May 4, 2018). This is in stark contrast to last year's Trump bump, which brought about 6.9% gains to the S&P 500 in the year-ago period.
Even if markets kicked off January on a strong note, increased inflationary expectations, chances of faster Fed rate hikes and the resultant uptick in Treasury bond yields caught investors off guard in late January and early February. Trump-induced trade fear especially with China (thanks to the U.S. President's announcement of import tariffs) and a tech rout in March was the final nail in the coffin.
The tech crash continued to enter Q2. Taiwan Semiconductor's guidance cut triggered a selloff in the entire semiconductor space."Softer demand for smartphones and uncertainty in cryptocurrency mining market" were the reasons behind to this.
The first reading of the U.S. GDP growth for the first quarter of 2018 came in at 2.3%, below the 2.9% growth logged in the fourth quarter but above market expectations of 2%. If this was not enough, the job addition data fell short of market expectations in March and April.
Meanwhile, benchmark U.S. Treasury bond yields tested 3% on a pickup in inflation. The Fed's preferred inflation gauge touched the central bank's 2% goal for the first time in a year.
So, the Fed appears bullish on medium-term inflation momentum and looks to hike rates steadily. The central bank already enacted a hike in March and is expected to enact two more in 2018. There is 94% chance of a rate hike in June.
Needless to say, a volley of confusing events on the global front, mixed economic data and chances of higher rates ahead pushed stocks down. But even in this a faltering backdrop, a few stocks sprinted higher and earned investors around 100% during such a short span.
Top Stocks Up 100% This Year
Below we highlight a few stocks that have gained at least 100% defying the market bearishness. These stocks are still top-rated and worth a look for further gains.
Turtle Beach Corporation HEAR - Up 253.2%
The audio technology company comes from a top-ranked (top 43%) Zacks industry. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Endocyte Inc. ECYT - Up 154.4%
The Zacks Rank #2 is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. The stock comes from a top-ranked (top 50%) Zacks sector.
Pfenex Inc. PFNX - Up 125.9%
It is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and commercializing proteins. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and comes from a top-ranked (top 41%) Zacks industry.
Enova International Inc. ENVA - Up 101.97%
This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company is a provider of online financial services. It offers loans to customers in the United States and in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The stock comes from a top-ranked (top 40%) Zacks industry.
W&T Offshore Inc. WTI - Up 100.6%
It is an independent oil and natural gas company focused primarily in the Gulf of Mexico area, including the deep water. It has a Zacks Rank #2 and belongs to a top-ranked (top 50%) Zacks sector.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Turtle Beach Corporation (HEAR): Free Stock Analysis Report Enova International, Inc. (ENVA): Free Stock Analysis Report Pfenex Inc. (PFNX): Free Stock Analysis Report Endocyte, Inc. (ECYT): Free Stock Analysis Report W&T Offshore, Inc. (WTI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research