Judge a quarter by its winners and losers. That's what I have always taught, and that's the lesson now. I think that the top and bottom five performing stocks in the S&P 500 in the previous quarter pretty much tells the tale of the tape.
So, let's go right to it.
First winner? Regeneron (REGN) , the company run by Len Schleifer, I think has the best hope for both an anti-viral and a vaccine against Covid-19. Len, our first guest on "Mad Money" 15 years ago, is not some dreamer or some promoter. He had been pretty darned negative to me a month ago about what he and his genius partner, George Yancopoulos, who came on recently, would be able to do against the scourge. But he's become quite optimistic that he might have something. Len also last year put out a great infrastructure plan for our country in an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times that dovetails with what I think will soon been a gigantic bond offering to put out of work people in work. The country wants to beat Covid-19. Mr. Treasury Secretary give us a 30-year "crush Covid" bond. Len's got a lot up his sleeve, including shares in a stocks that rose 30% in the last three months.
Next up, Citrix (CTXS) . This software company has a fabulous product. Citrix is a fantastic way to chat with everyone at all the home offices that have sprung up. It's a seasoned company, part of my barbell list, and its stock can go higher, higher even than the 28% it just gained.
I know everyone does these surveys that show Netflix (NFLX) may or may not be doing well in the era of Covid-19. Sorry, what matters is that they could raise their price dramatically and don't even know if anyone would care. The stock's up 16%. Consider it a buy if you think this thing Covid's not going to leave us any time soon; 16% up seems low to me.
We heard from Micron (MU) last week that the data center is on fire. That's how Digital Realty Trust's (DLR) stock could go up 16%. I would like it more if it would pull back as it only has a 3.37% yield. It is a terrific way to play continued data center growth.
Finally, Gilead Sciences (GILD) , with a stock up 15% is fifth. It did well because so many are hopeful that it has an anti-viral drug that can save people from dying of complications caused by Covid 19. I would rather invest in Regeneron.
The worst S&P performers? No real mystery here. Most are energy companies and with oil at $20. These are tough to own. Apache (APA) used to be this terrific international energy company. Then it made a huge bet on the wrong part of the Permian while selling a lot of far-flung properties. The stock's at $4 down from $21 when the year ended, off 84%. Great thing if you own stocks: They stop at zero.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holding's (NCLH) next, an incredibly well-run company with fabulous ships that are totally experiential. But now they are totally off-limits to people until they have forgotten the industry's unique Covid-19 problem. It's down 81% and I think that it's just too close to the blast zone to own. Same for the third worst, Royal Caribbean (RCL) , off 76%. It's such a good house in the worst neighborhood on earth, save oil. If one were to bounce, I think it would be this one.
The last two? Marathon Oil (MRO) and Noble Energy (NBL) are such good companies that I can't believe they can fall so low. They are well-run with excellent properties. It doesn't matter. After the bankruptcy today of Whiting Petroleum (WLL) , I think these are nothing more than a dice roll.
I wish I could say buy an oil. I just can't. Maybe there's a bounce. Sell them if you get one.
I like the winners; dislike the losers, easy to say on day that continues the lash of the first quarter.