Each week, I'm ranking the biggest companies that trade on U.S. exchanges based on their size (market capitalization), momentum (total return over the past year), and recent news. Before we get to the rankings, a quick word on a major player.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains the world's most valuable company, but life hasn't been easy for shareholders since the tech giant hit all-time highs early last month. Shares have fallen 17% off their peak levels, translating into a nearly $190 billion hit to the market cap.
It isn't helping that investors are rotating out of tech bellwethers, but Apple also didn't do itself any favors with last month's quarterly report. The market is concerned about sluggish iPhone sales, and things may not get any better in the near term. A couple of Apple suppliers over the past few days have been warning of weakness in the current quarter, leading some Wall Street pros to argue that Apple is slowing down production in light of waning demand.
Apple has done a good job of using its smartphone stronghold to roll out services offering steady and incremental revenue. Today's iPhones also cost quite a bit more than earlier models did, so Apple can continue to make more money with potentially less volume. However, Apple's market cap is no longer on the north end of $1 trillion.
Let's go over this week's updated list of 50 top large-cap stocks, kicking things off with the top 10.
This week's top 10 stocks
10. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): $416.6 billion market capitalization, down 19.2% over the past year
It was a rough week for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg. A New York Times article accused the two executives of ignoring warning signs from its board related to potential Russian interference with the 2016 election. The Wall Street Journal reported that staff morale has been tanking at the social networking giant. There's a lot going wrong at the company that continues to be the country's sixth most valuable company in terms of market cap, and it's in danger of slipping out of the top 10 if its stock and believers keep shrinking. Likers, and crosshairs, and bears -- oh, my.
9. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) (up from No. 13): $389.8 billion, up 3.6%
The pharmaceuticals and consumer-goods giant behind Tylenol, Listerine, and the namesake "No More Tears" baby shampoo cracks into the top 10 this week, as its stock inches higher in a week when many of its neighbors are slipping back. A California jury cleared J&J in a case where a woman claimed that its baby powder and other talc-based products contained asbestos and caused her to be stricken with mesothelioma.
8. UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) (up from No. 9): $254.9 billion, up 26.2%
The healthcare provider is gearing up for its analyst day later this month, but at least one Wall Street pro is talking about UnitedHealth ahead of its financial presentation. Zack Sopcak at Morgan Stanley points out that OptumHealth, UnitedHealth's provider services business, is expected to hit $100 billion in annual revenue by 2025, accounting for 42% of UnitedHealth's revenue and 40% of its earnings growth if things go according to plan through the next seven years. Sopcak sees the performance at OptumHealth as the force that will drive UnitedHealth's performance into the next decade. UnitedHeatlh is doing just fine for now, working on its third straight year of double-digit revenue growth.
7. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM): $366.0 billion, up 12.1%
The consumer and investment banking behemoth is giving its plastic a high-tech boost. Chase announced late in the week that its signature credit cards will go contactless in the coming months. Contactless cards will allow customers to tap their cards to complete purchases instead of the old-school swiping that can sometimes be hacked with thief-installed skimmers. All of Chase's credit cards will have contactless functionality within the first half of 2019, and debit cards will follow in the latter half of the year. It's a logical step for the consumer banking giant, but it still won't stop you from buying that tacky holiday sweater to go with the rubber antler headband you bought a year earlier.
6. Visa (NYSE:V): $314.4 billion, up 28.7%
Chase is a major issuer of Visa plastic, so JPMorgan Chase's decision to go contactless with its cards also reflects on Visa. It also announced on Friday that it's taking a minority stake in BillDesk, an online payments platform gaining traction in India. The move will help Visa gain a larger foothold in the world's second most populous nation as it helps BillDesk expand its product line and international expansion opportunities. Earlier in the week we had Barclays initiate coverage of Visa with a bullish "overweight" stock rating and a $170 price target, implying that there's 21% of upside off current levels.
The company formerly known as Google is following Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) into boosting its presence in New York City. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is expected to double its personnel in the city to more than 14,000 employees over the next decade. The one thing that hasn't been on the move is the stock, as it finds itself barely above where it was when the year began.
4. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A): $535.5 billion, up 19.6%
The investment giant revealed the moves it made during the third quarter in an SEC filing, and a big theme appears to be big banking. Warren Buffett's firm is boosting its stake in JPMorgan Chase and other financial-services providers. Financial stocks now make up nearly half of Berkshire Hathaway's $203 billion equity portfolio.
3. Amazon.com (down from No. 2): $791.9.3 billion, up 43.7%
"I predict one day Amazon will fail," someone said last week. "Amazon will go bankrupt." The person who said that is none other than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. You don't need to run out and dump your Amazon stock, expedite your latest Amazon purchase, or actually head to the mall the next time you need to go shopping. At an all-hands meeting for employees in Seattle, Bezos was addressing the pitfalls that often come with complacency. He argues that even successful companies fail after a few decades and that his goal is to delay that moment for as long as possible.
2. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) (up from No. 3): $823.5 billion, up 29.3%
The first thing investors think about when they hear "Microsoft" tends to operating system and productivity software, but Mr. Softy is also a major player in video games with its Xbox platform. Microsoft hosted its X018 event in Mexico last weekend to show off its latest moves on the gaming front. It announced new titles and accessories, but the big news is that it's acquiring game developers inXile and Obsidian, the companies behind the Wasteland and Fallout franchises, respectively. Acquiring publishers isn't new for Microsoft. It knows the best way to keep developers of hot games close is to snap them up.
1. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): $908.3 billion, up 13.2%
Cupertino is ready for its close-up. Apple is partnering with Oscar-winning indie studio A24 to crank out full-length movies that will stream on Apple's inevitable video streaming service. There aren't a lot of details about the partnership, but it's described as a multiyear deal. Apple will be a latecomer to the streaming video service market, but selling its chances short would be a mistake. After all, Apple caught up in a hurry with Apple Music despite being years late to that party.
The rank and file
We'll get to No. 11 through No. 50 in a moment, but first, let's look at some other top-50 stocks that are making waves -- for better or worse.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) got its orange apron dirty after posting mixed financial results. The home-improvement superstore operator posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter but warned the housing industry concerns and late-season hurricanes will weigh on its current quarter's performance. The stock took a 5% hit during the week, slipping a couple of notches in our rankings.
Analysts at Stifel, Baird, and Loop Captial lowered their price targets on the stock following the report, and at least one other firm kicked in with a downgrade. The news also weighed on Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), which was knocked off the top 50 here last week.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) was one of the large-cap world's biggest gainers, moving 8% higher on the week. The Chinese e-commerce giant saw its marketplace ring up $30.8 billion in sales on Singles Day, a holiday it created that probably inspired Amazon to roll out Prime Day a couple of years ago. Alibaba has christened Nov. 11 as Singles Day, a holiday to separate being single. The date is significant, as 11/11 is a bunch of ones, but it has become a major 24-hour shopping holiday for both the single and attached.
Stocks 11 through 50
11. Walmart (NYSE:WMT): $291.5 billion, up 10.8%
12. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE): $249.8 billion, up 22.2%
13. Netlix (NASDAQ:NFLX): $126.5 billion, up 51%
14. Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA): $401.8 billion, down 13.8%
15. Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): $273.8 billion, up 4.1%
16. ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM): $331.0 billion, down 3.7%
17. Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ): $244.1 billion, up 33.9%
18. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO): $213.8 billion, up 37.1%
19. Boeing (NYSE:BA): $194.9 billion, up 29.9%
20. Mastercard (NYSE:MA): $207.3 billion, up 35.3%
21. Merck (NYSE:MRK): $194.6 billion, up 36.6%
22. Disney (NYSE:DIS): $174.2 billion, up 12.9%
23. Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG): $233.8 billion, up 6.4%
24. Home Depot (NYSE:HD): $202.9 billion, up 7.2%
25. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO): $211.7 billion, up 6.3%
26. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): $219.6 billion, up 5.8%
27. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A): $257.0 billion, up 3.5%
28. Novartis (NYSE:NOV): $202.3 billion, up 6.4%
29. PetroChina (NYSE:PTR): $198.7 billion, up 8.4%
30. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA): $175.1 billion, up 3.5%
31. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC): $248.6 billion, down 1.7%
32. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD): $141.5 billion, up 9.7%
33. Oracle (NYSE:ORCL): $191.8 billion, up 3.7%
34. Chevron (NYSE:CVX): $223.5 billion, up 0.4%
35. PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP): $164.9 billion, up 1.5%
36. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): $124.2 billion, Up 29%
37. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY): $110.3 billion, up 36.5%
38. Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE): $117.1 billion, up 33.2%
39. Nike (NYSE:NKE): $118.3 billion, up 31.3%
40. BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP): $109.8 billion, up 18.6%
41. AT&T (NYSE:T): $219.2 billion, down 10.9%
42. Medtronic (NYSE:MDT): $125.3 billion, up 17.9%
43. Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP): $111.6 billion. up 30.2%
44. Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM): $100.3 billion, up 25.7%
45. Costco (NASDAQ:COST): $100.8 billion, up 36.1%
46. PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL): $102.2 billion, up 18.1%
47. Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA): $89.2 billion, up 68%
48. Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN): $122.6 billion, up 13.6%
49. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX): $88.5 billion, up 19.3%
50. (new) China Mobile (NYSE:CHL): $201.0 billion, down 1.6%
Who's in and who's out
We have just one new name making the cut this week, as China Mobile enters the top 50. China's largest provider of wireless service saw its stock jump 7% last week, moving higher with a general bounce for Chinese equities that have been slammed in recent months. China Mobile's trailing 52-week return remains negative, but with its market cap now above $200 billion again, it's hard to ignore a telco giant with more than 900 million subscribers.
China Mobile bumps The TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) off the list. The discount retailer behind T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and other concepts saw its stock slide 6% last week. It inched lower in each of last week's five trading days. The holiday shopping season is around the corner, giving it an ideal opportunity to claw its way back in the coming weeks.
One to watch
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is always a hot topic. With Elon Musk at the wheel, this is never a dull ride, and the stock has had its wild ups and downs along the way. Depending on which side you're on, Musk is either a genius for making the eco-friendly revolution of electric cars a reality for mainstream drivers, or he's an impulsive egomaniac watching over one of the market's most overvalued stocks.
There isn't a single automaker on this week's top 50. Toyota (NYSE:TM) is in the pole position in the industry when it comes to market cap, weighing in at $167.6 billion. However, the stock's 5.3% decline over the past year finds it just missing the cut.
Tesla, believe it or not, commands a larger market cap than General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F). But that's a parlor trick. GM and Ford have a ton of debt obligations on their books, and they command much larger enterprise values than Tesla. However, since we've made market cap our measuring stick, we have to concede that Tesla reigns supreme among the U.S. automakers. More importantly, Tesla, despite its near-term volatility, remains a winner over the past year. Its trailing return of nearly 12% beats GM and Ford with their declines of 17% and 20%, respectively. Tesla didn't make the cut this week, and if Toyota finds a way to steer itself back into positive return territory, it may beat Tesla to this finish line.
No matter where you're watching from or which driver you're cheering on, this is a great race to watch.