Investors have generally had a good year. The S&P 500 is up a hearty 12% so far in 2017, and as good as your portfolio has fared year to date, someone who's never satisfied can argue that things can always be better. A lot of stocks have naturally fared better than the market average, and some stocks have more than doubled.

We've seen 72 stateside exchange-listed stocks with market caps greater than $1 billion more than double so far this year. If you owned just one of them, your scorecard is probably looking pretty good right now. Let's check out some of the big companies -- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD), and Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) -- that have made some big moves so far in 2017.  

Shopify platform as it appears on a Facebook store.

Image source: Shopify.


Growth investors who steer clear of mammoth-sized companies because they don't seem to offer much in terms of upside may want to rethink that strategy after eyeing Alibaba. China's largest e-commerce company has soared 103% so far this year, pushing its market cap north of $450 billion. Alibaba is now the sixth most valuable U.S.-listed company by market cap. 

The company behind Taobao, Tmall, and several cloud computing and digital media initiatives is growing at a brisk pace. Revenue soared 56% to $7.4 billion in its latest quarter, with double-digit growth across all of its business categories. It has 466 annual active consumers, and its mobile retail marketplace platforms are drawing 529 million monthly active users on mobile devices. 

Alibaba's bottom line is also a thing of beauty given the scalable nature of its tech-intensive model and China's kind corporate tax rate structure. Alibaba's net margin clocked in at nearly 28% in fiscal 2017, moving even higher in its fiscal first quarter of 2018. 

The Trade Desk

We're changing the way advertising opportunities are sold, and The Trade Desk is cashing in. The fast-growing pioneer in programmatic advertising where computers are used to optimize marketing budgets saw revenue rise 54% in its latest quarter. Adjusted earnings nearly tripled. 

The Trade Desk went public at $18 a year ago. The stock has more than tripled in its first 12 months on the market, up a hearty 116% so far in 2017. The Big Data marketing play is having no trouble attracting advertisers and keeping them happy. 

The Trade Desk stock has moved nicely higher after each of its four quarters as a public company. Boosting its guidance every time isn't hurting. Whether it's the marketing guru offering up conservative outlooks, or if it's business is just perpetually improving, it's shareholders who are ultimately winning big. 


Finally we have Shopify, leading the way with a 178% pop so far this year. Small- and mid-size merchants with e-commerce ambitions often have a hard time getting up to speed, but that's where Shopify steps in by helping vendors look as good as the big boys.

Shopify is rolling right along with its buoyant share price. Revenue climbed 75% to $151.7 million in its latest quarter, well above its earlier guidance calling for $142 million to $144 million on the top line. Profitability has been elusive, but investors are fine with just eyeing its jaw-dropping growth. Between its platform and its growing opportunities in payment processing and order fulfillment, Shopify is making the most of the playing field it's trying to level for the little guys -- and the little investors with portfolios that aren't so little anymore.

Rick Munarriz has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify and The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.