S&P 500: Six stocks turn $10,000 into $69,878 in six months

June isn’t supposed to be a good month for the S&P 500. But it was, especially for investors who chose wisely.


In total, had you invested $10,000 in January and reinvested your money in the best performing stock currently in the S&P 500 each month in 2023, including Carnival (CCL) in June, you would now have $69,878, according to an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.

That’s an impressive gain of nearly 600% over six months. That’s quite a feat considering the S&P 500 is up just 15.9% so far this year. The same $10,000 invested in the S&P 500 is only worth $11,590 now. That’s a gain of only $1,590. June also extended a big rebound in massive tech stocks, especially those associated with AI.

Investors are hoping June is just the start of the rest of a bumper year.

“In years when the S&P 500 was up sharply (10%+) in the first half, the median performance during the month of July, all (the third quarter) and the whole of the second half were all better than historical standard,” Bespoke Investment Group said.

Did June kick off a strong second half for the S&P 500?

Hindsight is 20-20. And clearly few, if any, investors could have picked the best stock in each of the past six months because it’s not a repeatable strategy. But the staggering numbers remind investors that gains can be found in a choppy market.

The S&P 500 itself provided a tailwind in June. It was a welcome change, as June is not normally a good month for the S&P 500, the Stock Trader’s Almanac says. The S&P 500 gained 5.2% in June. That’s far better than the average 0.1% gain in June dating back to 1950, according to the Almanac. May is only the ninth best month in terms of returns historically.

Top S&P 500 June Stock: Carnival

The journey of revenge is real. And it’s paying off for S&P 500 investors. Cruise line Carnival was the top S&P 500 stock in June, jumping 67.7%.

Investors are clearly jumping ahead of a reversal in company fundamentals. Carnival is expected to post earnings of 77 cents per share in the quarter ended August on Sept. 29. That would reverse a loss of 58 cents per share a year ago. And that puts the company on track to return to profitability in 2024.

And under the theme of travel, the No. 2 stock of the S&P 500 in June is Norwegian cruise line (NCLH). And in fact, four of the top 10 S&P 500 stocks for the month were travel-related. The Norwegian gained 46.6%, while Delta Airlines (DAL) increased by 44.7% and Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) added 28.1%.

Read the S&P 500 this year

The twists and turns of each month reveal just how much the tough S&P 500 is still worth to investors.

The year started with a bang. Not only did the S&P 500 jump 6.2% in January alone, but some of the month’s winners soared even higher. Discovery of Warner Bros. (WBD) added more than 56% in a single month.

And then came February with a step back. Optimism that the Fed has finally cooled inflation with its rate hikes is giving way to fear that more rate hikes are to come. Three-quarters of S&P 500 stocks fell in February. Catalent (CTLT), a healthcare company, stood out gaining 25.6% during the month.

The big question, however, is whether the rally can continue after a strong June and first half. The odds say yes. Historically, July is the fourth best month of the year for the S&P 500, according to The Almanac.

Bespoke points out that July has recently been even better. “Over the past 10 years, performance has been even stronger, with the S&P 500 posting an average gain of 3.27% and positive returns 90% of the time, including each of the past eight years.”

And that just sets the stage for what is normally a solid second half after a good first half.

“Finally, the S&P 500 median second-half performance after a more than 10% gain in the first half is more than double the median second-half performance for all years since 1945 (10.13% vs. 4.96% ),” Bespoke said. “Based on market history over the past 75 years, years that started out strong tend to end strong as well.”

How to turn $10,000 into $69,878 in 6 months

MonthTop S&P 500 StocksSymbolMonthly stock % gainSectorS&P 500% ea. monthly.Beg. ball.Cumulative value of $10,000 invested in January reinvested in top stocks each month
JanuaryDiscovery of Warner Bros. (WBD)56.3%Communication Services6.2%$10,000$15,630
FEBRUARYCatalent (CTLT)25.6Health care-2.3%$15,630$19,631
MarchIntel (INTC)28.7Computer science2.0%$19,631$25,265
AprilMexican Chipotle (GCM)21.0Consumer Discretionary1.5%$25,265$30,571
CanNvidia (NVDA)36.3Computer science0.2%$30,571$41,669
JuneCarnival (CCL)67.7Consumer Discretionary6.5%$41,669$69,878

Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, IBD

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