The following first appeared on Kiplinger’s.
It might not feel like it right now, as the coronavirus panic is roiling the stock market. But we’re still technically in the longest bull market in history at 132 months and counting – a run that sent the best stocks of the group up by several thousand percent.
That might not be the case for much longer, but nothing lasts forever. This bull market is destined to come to an end, like all the rest. But it’s still worthwhile to stop and consider a run for stocks that shattered all longevity records.
The great 1990s bull market (the previous title holder) lasted 113 months and saw the S&P 500 advance by 417%. That market occurred during the dot-com era, of course, dominated by new technology stocks. The current bull market – which has seen the S&P 500 advance by 339% – hasn’t been quite as spectacular. But technology has been a big story here as well. Retail, medical devices and fintech also have a healthy representation among the biggest winners.
Interestingly, energy stocks, which are under intense pressure right now, were underperformers in both epic bull runs.
Today, on the 11th anniversary of the bull market, we’re going to take a look at the 11 best stocks over that stretch, as well as the 11 biggest losers. To allow for a bigger pool of stocks, we expanded the universe to the full Russell 1000 Index – the 1,000 largest companies in America’s equity market.
We’ll start with the laggards. Coming in at No. 11 is PG&E (PCG, $14.27), also known as Pacific Gas and Electric, which supplies natural gas and electricity to northern and central California. PG&E has declined by 59.8% since the bull market began, with most of the damage happening in just the past few years.
PG&E owns and operates 107,000 circuit miles of distribution lines, 50 transmission switching substations and 769 distribution substations. It also owns approximately 43,100 miles of natural gas distribution pipelines and assorted storage facilities.
A sleepy regional utility stock is generally a safe if somewhat boring investment. Unfortunately for PG&E shareholders, the company hit dire financial straits as a result of the wildfires that ravaged northern California in 2017 and 2018. Downed power lines owned by PG&E caused the fires that ultimately destroyed 14,000 homes and led to the deaths of 86 people. The company was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2019.
Given that shareholders are often wiped out in bankruptcy reorganizations, it’s impressive that PG&E isn’t down even more.
To finish reading, please see The 11 Best (And 11 Worst) Stocks of the 11-Year Bull Market.