After a difficult last few months of 2018, the stock market has enjoyed a strong rebound in 2019 with the FTSE 100 hitting new highs for the year this morning up 0.6% to 7,274.18. This extends its year-to-date gains to 8.1%.
The table below shows the stocks which have performed the best year-to-date and have helped power this rise in the index.
|Company||YTD performance (%)|
|British American Tobacco||25.3|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||25.1|
|Legal & General||22.9|
Source: Sharepad, 18 March 2019 (excludes 3i Group)
Software firm Micro Focus (MCRO) has managed to put the troubled integration of HP Enterprise behind it and unveiled an extremely well-received set of full year results in mid-February which we looked at in this article.
Like a number of areas which were sold off heavily in the latter part of last year, the housebuilding space has enjoyed a strong recent recovery. We discussed our thoughts on the sector as a whole, encompassing Taylor Wimpey (TW.) and Barratt Developments (BDEV), and its income appeal in an in-depth feature earlier this year.
High street retailer Next (NXT) is another stock which has been rehabilitated of late, getting 2019 off to a storming start with a 3 January trading update which revealed Christmas trading was better than expected. The company is one of our top picks for 2019.
Financials have also been strong thanks to a pretty solid results season and rising hopes that a damaging 'no-deal' Brexit can be averted, allowing the Bank of England to raise interest rates which would help their returns.