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Summer Sizzler Stocks

As investors brace for what could be another roller coaster ride for the stock market this summer, CNBC.com conducted a stock screen of the S&P 500 index, searching for the top ten percentage gainers in the past ten years.

Here is a look at how the major averages faired historically during the summer months, along with the best performing companies.

Major Indexes Performance During the Summer

Overall, in the last ten years, the markets were only positive during the summer months (Memorial Day to Labor Day) 50 percent of the time, a slightly less positive rate than the second half of the year, where the S&P was positive 60 percent of the time.

  • The Dow had an an average of 0.16 percent gain in the summer and it was up 50 percent of the time since 2000 during the summer
  • Its biggest summer gain was in 2009 when it gained 14.06 percent and its biggest summer drop was in 2002 when the Dow lost 14.26 percent
  • The S&P was roughly flat with a gain of 0.01 percent in the summer, and it was up 50 percent of the time in the summer, since 2000
  • Its biggest summer gain was in 2009 when it gained 14.59 percent and its biggest summer drop was in 2002 when the S&P lost 15.48 percent
  • The NASDAQ had an average gain of 2.42 percent in the summer and it was up 50 percent of the time in the summer since 2000
  • Its biggest summer gain was in 2000 when it gained 32.11 percent and its biggest summer drop was in 2002 when the NASDAQ lost 20.86 percent

Top Percentage Gainers in The Summer

  • Based on the findings, technology and consumer discretionary represented the majority of the list, 26 percent and 18 percent respectively
  • The average return for all the companies that made it to the list stands at 53 percent for the summer
  • So far in 2010, the same companies are up 3 percent, on average, and have a median value of -1 percent, respectively
  • During the past ten years, the biggest percent gains in the summer were recorded by:
  • Juniper with an increase of 190 percent in 2000
  • Abercrombie & Fitch with an increase of 178 percent in 2007
  • QLogic with an increase of 155 percent in 2003

The companies below made it to the top ten best performing stocks in the summer more than once in the past ten years.

  • Intuitive Surgical, three times, 2001, 2004, and 2007
  • Titanium Metals, three times, 2000, 2004, and 2005
  • SanDisk , three times, 2002, 2003 and 2005
  • Apollo Group, twice, 2002 and 2008
  • Cerner Corp, twice, 2003 and 2006
  • Cliffs Natural Resources, twice, 2003 and 2004
  • Cummins, twice, 2003 and 2007
  • Cognizant Tech Solutions, twice, 2002 and 2003
  • Juniper Networks, twice, 2000 and 2007
  • Office Depot, twice, 2001 and 2005
  • Range Resources, twice, 2004 and 2005
  • Sears, twice, 2003 and 2004
  • Southwestern Energy, twice, 2004 and 2005

The following table depicts the average percent return for the companies above during the summer months in the past ten years.

Summer Sizzlers Average Percent Return (5-Yr Period)

Symbol
Company Name
Average % Return
LCC US Airways 23
LVS Las Vegas Sands 21
GOL GOL Linhas 19
WYNN Wynn Resorts 19
UAL United Continental 19
LTM Life Time Fitness 17
LFL LAN Airlines 14
GET Gaylord Ent. 14
JBLU JetBlue Airways 12
ALK Alaska Air Group 12
LUV Southwest Airlines 12
CTRP Ctrip.com Intl. 12
BYI Bally Technologies 11

*Note: Intuitive Surgical average percent return is from 2001 to 2009.
Sears average percent return is from 2003 to 2009.

Data Source: CNBC Analytics, Thomson Reuters, and Capital IQ

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