The Nasdaq-100 and S&P 500 are two of the most popular equity indexes in the US. The Nasdaq-100 is heavily allocated towards top performing industries such as Technology, Consumer Services, and Health Care, which have helped the Nasdaq-100 outperform the S&P 500 by a wide margin between Dec. 31, 2007 and June 30, 2020. Below is a comparison of annual total returns - which reinvest dividends - between each index. The Nasdaq-100 TR Index has outperformed 10 out of the 12 years in our study.
The table below and the charts above display historical performance figures for both the Nasdaq-100 TR and the S&P 500 TR between Dec. 31, 2007 and June 30, 2020. Despite recent overall market volatility, the Nasdaq-100 TR Index has maintained cumulative total returns of approximately 2.5 times that of the S&P 500 TR Index.
One-year rolling volatility (calculated by taking the standard deviation of daily returns, annualized) was 94% correlated between Dec. 31, 2007 and June 30, 2020, when comparing the two indexes. Given the large exposure the Nasdaq-100 has towards Technology, the ability for the Nasdaq-100 to closely track the volatility of the S&P 500 is rather impressive.
Current Industry Weights
We can see important differences between the Nasdaq-100 and the S&P 500 as of Dec. 31, 2019. As mentioned previously, the largest allocations to both Technology and Consumer Services helped propel the Nasdaq-100 Index to a new all-time high on June 23, 2020, extending the historic outperformance observed during 1Q’20. The Nasdaq-100 finished the first half of the year with a gain of 16.9%, significantly outpacing the S&P 500’s loss of 3.1%.
This most recent outperformance mirrors what occurred in the preceding major market downturn in 4Q’18, as well as during prior bull market phases. For 2018 as a whole, the Nasdaq-100 outperformed the S&P 500 by 4.4%. In 2017 and 2019, it outperformed by 11.2% and 8.0%, respectively. In 2020, the Nasdaq-100 is well on its way to outperforming for the 11th time in the last 12 calendar years.
The Nasdaq-100 and S&P 500 are two of the most popular equity indexes in the US. We provided performance and volatility analysis for almost 12 years. The Nasdaq-100 is heavily allocated towards top performing industries such as Technology, Consumer Services, and Health Care. The growth of companies in these industries has continued to be strong. Given the way technology is influencing the world and making companies more efficient, this trend is more than likely to continue going forward.
Sources: Nasdaq Indexes, Bloomberg
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