5 Big Winners of the Last 5 Years

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) index has just about flatlined over the last five years. It's been anything but a comfortable ride, what with the financial implosion of 2008 and all, but we're pretty much back where we started again.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Chart

Dow Jones Industrial Average data by YCharts.

But just because the overall market has been comatose doesn't mean that there were no winners. Would you believe that one Dow component has gained 155% over the same period? Even more shockingly, it's a company that depends heavily on a healthy housing market. I'm talking about Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) .

The building-materials retailer has earned these gains by controlling costs and pumping up profitability while revenue hardly moved at all:

HD Total Return Price Chart

HD Total Return Price data by YCharts. Shaded regions indicate U.S. recessions.

Expand your horizons beyond the Dow and you'll find a plethora of huge gains. S&P Capital IQ tells me that 56 of the 500 stocks on the S&P 500 index more than doubled. Here's a select handful of the most interesting names:

Dow Jones Industrial Average Chart

Dow Jones Industrial Average data by YCharts.

At first glance, this looks like a motley crew. Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) rise to power has been very thoroughly documented. Teradata (NYSE: TDC  ) rides the "big data" explosion. Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) has become a real turnaround story lately, and priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN  ) actually thrives on consumers getting frugal in response to the recession.

What these winners have in common is that they're all longtime recommendations of at least one Foolish newsletter. What else have our analysts dug up recently? Try any of our wealth-building newsletter services free for 30 days to find out for yourself.

Is Apple still a buy?
There's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with gains of more than 1,000%. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on reasons both to buy and to sell Apple, as well as what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thoughts on Apple, simply click here now.


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