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The S&P 500 provides investors and financial professionals with a benchmark for measuring the performance of their portfolios. It is used as a reference point for investment strategies, market analysis, and tracking the performance of various sectors and industries within the US stock market. 

In this article, we will discuss the most popular stocks in the S&P 500 and why one should invest in them. 


What is S&P 500?

The S&P 500, short for Standard & Poor’s 500, is a widely recognized stock market index in the United States that represents the performance of 500 large-cap companies listed on major stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The index includes companies from various sectors, such as technology, finance, healthcare, and consumer goods, providing a diverse representation of the overall market. 

S&P 500 is considered as an indicator of the overall health and direction of the US stock market. It is a float-weighted index, which takes into account both the market value of each company and the number of shares available for public trading in order to determine the company’s weightage in the index. 

 10 most popular stocks in S&P 500

1. Apple

Apple Inc. is a multinational technology company known for its popular tech products, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers. Incorporated in 1977, it has a significant market presence and a strong customer base worldwide. It was added to S&P 500 in 1982. Apple had played a significant role in driving 21% of the S&P 500’s gains in 2023. 

2. Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation started in 1993 and is a leading technology company that develops software, hardware, and services. It is known for its Windows operating system, Office productivity suite, and cloud computing platform Azure. It was added to S&P 500 in 1994.

Big Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft had contributed to the S&P500’s 8% gain in 2023. With both companies experiencing over 30% growth in 2021, their combined market values exceed $5 trillion, accounting for nearly 15% of the S&P 500’s total market value.

3. Amazon

Amazon Inc. is a multinational e-commerce company that began operations in 1996 and was added to the S&P 500 in 2005. It offers a wide range of products and services, including e-commerce, cloud computing, and digital streaming. 

Amazon stands out as the primary driver of earnings growth for the entire S&P 500 in the first quarter of 2023. Without Amazon’s year-on-year earnings contribution, the blended earnings decline for the S&P 500 in Q1 2023 would worsen from -3.7% to -5.1%. 

4. Alphabet

Alphabet Inc. is the parent company of Google and several other subsidiaries. It was created as a holding company in 2015 to oversee Google and its subsidiaries. Google itself was incorporated in 1998. Alphabet Inc. is primarily focused on internet-related businesses, including online advertising, search engines, and technology innovations. 

Alphabet is one of the four significant companies that make up 17.5% of the S&P 500 index value. The company saw its share price finish 2022 at $88.23 per share. Since then, the share price has surged by 40%, reaching $123.67 per share and pushing the company’s market capitalization to $1.58 trillion, exceeding market expectations. 

5. Tesla

Started in 2003, Tesla Inc. is an electric vehicle and clean energy company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars, solar energy products, and energy storage solutions. It is known for its cutting-edge technology and innovative approach to transportation. As of 2020, Tesla’s shares surged up 13% for the S&P 500. Tesla is also one of the newest S&P additions, entering the index in 2020. 


NVIDIA Corporation, incorporated in 1998, is a technology company specializing in graphics processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence (AI) computing. The company replaced energy corporation Enron in 2001 to join S&P 500. Its products are used in gaming, data centers, and AI applications. NVIDIA was one of the five stocks that have made up 96% of the S&P 500’s gains in 2023. It was one of the few AI-focused companies that contribute 15% to S&P’s overall market capitalization. 

7. Meta

Meta Platforms Inc., previously known as Facebook, is a social media and technology conglomerate that started in 2004 and was added to S&P 500 in 2013. It owns popular social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Meta surged by 23% in 2023, its highest performance since 2013. This contributed to the S&P 500 advancing over 1% and reaching its highest level in five months.

8. Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was originally incorporated as Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company in 1889. It is a multinational conglomerate holding company led by renowned investor Warren Buffett. 

It has diverse investments in various industries, including insurance, utilities, manufacturing, and retail. From 1965 to 2022, Berkshire Hathaway achieved an average annual gain of 19.8%, which is more than the overall gain in the S&P 500 of 9.9% during the same period.

9. UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated, started in 1977, is a healthcare company that provides health insurance and healthcare services. The company was added to S&P 500 in 2018. It operates through several subsidiaries and is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. With $324.2 billion in revenue in 2022, the company claimed the top spot as the largest healthcare company in the Fortune 500. 

10. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is a multinational corporation that develops, manufactures, and sells a wide range of healthcare products, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer health products. It was added to S&P 500 in 1973.

In 2022, J&J’s total shareholder return (TSR) surpassed both their Competitor Composite and the S&P500 performance, contributing to their impressive compounded annual growth rate of nearly 13% over the past ten years.

**Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Consider including the S&P 500 in your investment portfolio to participate in a diverse range of industries.

The S&P 500 serves as a vital benchmark for investors and professionals to gauge portfolio performance and analyze the US stock market. These stocks collectively contribute to the dynamic landscape of the S&P 500 and highlight the diverse sectors and industries within the index.

It is important to assess the risks associated with investing in the S&P 500. Traders should carefully consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and goal before investing in the S&P 500. Diversification across different asset classes and ongoing monitoring of the market are also important strategies to consider.

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  • All material published on our website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered personal advice or recommendation. Traders should carefully consider their objectives, financial situation, needs, and level of experience before entering into any margined transactions.

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