Last year will go down in history as one of the most volatile on record for the stock market. The uncertainty created by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused the benchmark S&P 500 to lose over a third of its value in less than five weeks during the first quarter. The subsequent nine months brought a record-breaking rally that saw the S&P 500 end the year higher by a double-digit percentage.
Though volatility was present in all sectors and industries, it was particularly notable among healthcare stocks. While it’s not uncommon for positive clinical data to send a biotech stock or medical device company soaring, it’s very much out of the ordinary to see 1 in 5 healthcare stocks with a $300 million or larger market cap end the year higher by at least 100%. That’s what happened in 2020.
Among the 126 healthcare stocks that at least doubled last year, three did so well that a $100,000 investment in them would have turned into well over $1 million.