The stock market went on a record run from the 2009 end of the Great Recession through 2021. The S&P 500 -- an index made up of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the United States -- produced a total return of 729.4% from March 2009 through Jan. 1, 2022.
A lot of these returns came from the explosive growth of the largest four technology stocks: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet (the parent company of Google). Each of these four companies has a market cap of over $1 trillion, and together they make up almost 20% of the entire S&P 500.
But what stocks will power the next bull market? Here are two high-growth candidates for reaching new highs whenever that time arrives.
First on the list is Airbnb (ABNB -2.22%), the Silicon Valley darling that is trying to disrupt the travel and lodging market. With its innovative marketplace that allows anyone to list their home or residence for other people to stay in, the company has changed the game for how people can travel around the world. It has also expanded into the tourist activity industry, allowing its hosts to offer "experiences" to tourists to explore local areas. Airbnb makes money by taking a cut of every transaction on its marketplace.
Last quarter, with the travel industry rebounding globally (excluding China, which the company decided to exit), Airbnb had 103.7 million nights and experiences booked on its platform. This was up 25% year over year and 24% compared to the quarter before the pandemic. Revenue growth was even more impressive, up 58% year over year to $2.1 billion, and 73% compared to the pre-pandemic quarter.
The opportunity for Airbnb remains massive. The size of the global hotel and resort industry before the pandemic was $1.52 trillion, which Airbnb should continue to take bites of as it gets more and more listings on its platform. Plus, the company is going after more than just the hotel market, with people actually living for months at a time in Airbnb rentals. Stays of 28 days or longer are the company's fastest-growing category right now, and with the rise of remote work, it could see consistent growth this decade.
With a market cap of $73.5 billion, Airbnb won't need a herculean effort to become one of the next technology giants. If it can keep growing its revenue at a strong double-digit rate, it wouldn't be surprising to see this business hit a trillion-dollar market cap sometime within the next 10 years.
You might be surprised to see video streamer Netflix (NFLX 0.67%) on this list. The stock has been a big winner since the Great Recession, but with its market cap only touching $300 billion for a short time, it doesn't currently have the same impact on the market as the trillion-dollar technology giants. But that can change.
Netflix is going through a tough time acquiring customers. Subscribers have actually decreased in the last two quarters, and their number now sits at just under 221 million globally. While revenue is still growing because of subscription price increases, hitting $31 billion in the last twelve months, investors are nervous that Netflix may have hit a financial ceiling with its current business model. That has sent the stock price down a whopping 61% year to date, to a market cap of just over $100 billion.
Management is rolling out some smart initiatives to help grow the number of paying subscribers again. First, the company is testing how to restrict password-sharing between households. It estimates that 100 million households currently use Netflix but don't pay for it -- compare that to 221 million paying accounts. If implemented smartly, this could be an easy way for Netflix to regain its financial footing.
Second, it's planning on rolling out an advertising-supported tier in a partnership with Microsoft in the early part of 2023. With a 7.7% share of TV viewing in the United States this June, Netflix has billions of viewing hours that can be monetized with advertisements just in its home country. Apply this globally, and Netflix has a huge opportunity to monetize its service through ads.
The global video streaming market is worth an estimated $473 billion today, but is projected to grow to over $1 trillion this decade. If Netflix can execute with advertising, crack down on password-sharing, and help its subscriber count resume its upward trajectory, I think the company can capture a lot of this spending and become one of the next trillion-dollar technology giants.