July 20, 2024

S&P 500: These 9 Stocks Are Running To Start 2024

The S&P 500 index is up just a fraction in 2024 so far, but a number of big caps are off to a strong start.


Nvidia (NVDA), the No. 1 S&P 500 stock performer in 2023, is leading the way again. That is, excluding Juniper Networks (JNPR), which spiked last week as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) agreed to buy it for $14 billion. JNPR stock is up 27.2% year to date.

Other top S&P 500 stocks include Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Eli Lilly (LLY), Catalent (CTLT), Merck (MRK), Allstate (ALL), Viatris (VTRS), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) and Arista Networks (ANET).

Eli Lilly and VTRS stock are in buy range. NVDA stock blasted out of a base last week, but is extended now. ISRG stock, Palo Alto Networks and Arista Networks also are extended after powerful moves from key levels. MRK stock, Catalent and Allstate are extended.

Nvidia stock is on IBD Leaderboard. Nvidia and LLY stock are on SwingTrader. Nvidia and ANET stock are on the IBD 50 and IBD Big Cap 20.

Top S&P 500 Stock Performers In 2024

Company Ticker 2024 YTD % Gain
Nvidia NVDA 10.48%
Palo Alto Networks PANW 10.30%
Eli Lilly LLY 10.29%
Catalent CTLT 9.79%
Merck MRK 8.81%
Allstate ALL 7.89%
Viatris VTRS 7.85%
Intuitive Surgical ISRG 7.81%
Arista Networks ANET 7.01%

Nvidia Stock

Nvidia stock is up 10.5% so far in 2024. Shares found support at the 10-week line in the first days of the year, then rebounded. On Jan. 8, Nvidia announced new AI chips. Shares broke out of a flat base, clearing several months of consolidation, according to MarketSmith analysis. NVDA stock kept rising, and is now modestly extended from the 505.48 buy point.

Palo Alto Stock

Palo Alto stock has rallied 10.3% so far in 2024. Shares came down to the 10-week line in the first week, then roared back with a near-15% spike the following week. PANW stock was actionable on Jan. 9, when it retook the 21-day line and broke a trendline. But it’s extended now.

Eli Lilly Stock

Eli Lilly stock has jumped 10.3% in the new year. Like many drug and medical stocks, started off strong. Shares reclaimed the 50-day line and broke a downtrend on Jan. 2, then jumped to clear key resistance on Jan. 3. LLY stock soon cleared the official 629.97 flat-base buy point and is still in range.

Catalent Stock

Catalent stock has gained 9.8% after two weeks. On Jan. 8, shares cleared a 45.92 cup-with-handle buy point on a daily chart, then moved up toward the top of the bottoming base before pausing. Investors could view 51.79 as a legitimate buy point, especially from a weekly chart.

Merck Stock

Merck stock is up 8.8% as of Jan. 12. After running up from a near-52-week low in December to retake moving averages, MRK stock leapt 3.9% on Jan. 2 and 7.5% in the opening week. Shares briefly topped a 119.65 cup-base buy point on Jan. 9 and are now hovering below that entry.

Allstate Stock

Allstate stock has risen 7.9% in 2024, hitting record highs. The S&P 500 insurance stock moved out of a buy zone within a few days of the new year, and since then has traded tightly. An investor could view 144.99 as a valid entry as an alternate handle or a four-weeks-tight. ALL stock would be near the top of that buy zone, which runs to 152.22.

S&P 500: Viatris Stock

Viatris stock started the year off strong, quickly breaking out of a long double-bottom base. Shares hit a 22-month high of 12.40 on Jan. 10, as the generic drug giant discussed its cash flow projections and capital allocation plans. VTRS stock pulled back into the buy zone by the end of the week.

Intuitive Surgical Stock

Intuitive Surgical stock has advanced 7.8% through Jan. 12. Shares pulled back into a cup-with-handle buy zone to start the year, trading around the 21-day line and just above the 10-week line.

On Jan. 10, Intuitive Surgical preannounced strong Q4 revenue, citing strong systems sales and growth in procedures using its da Vinci robotic surgical system.

ISRG stock gapped up 10.25% that day, surging out of the buy zone to a two-year high.

S&P 500: Arista Networks Stock

Arista Networks stock has climbed 7% in 2024. Shares dipped to start the year, finding support at the 21-day line and nearly touching the 10-week line. ANET stock surged on Jan. 8 along with Nvidia and many other AI-fueled stocks, also clearing a three-weeks-tight entry. Arista stock is at all-time highs, extended from the 21-day/10-week line and the tight entry.

Please follow Ed Carson on Threads at @edcarson1971, X/Twitter at @IBD_ECarson and Bluesky at @edcarson.bsky.social for stock market updates and more.


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