Photograph by Thomas Trutschel—Photothek via Getty Images
By Lucinda Shen
August 29, 2016

If on the morning of Dec. 31, 2015 you woke up with a sudden urge to invest in Wyoming-based companies, your instincts—however bizarre—were spot on.

Bespoke Investment Group used Bloomberg’s State Indices to compile a list of the states with the best and worst performing stocks, and found companies in Wyoming, as a group, outperformed others stock-wise. The Wyoming State Index even beat out the wider S&P 500 Index, which rose 6.12% year-to-date (YTD), according to a note Bespoke sent its clients on Monday. (S&P is often considered the best way to gauge large-cap U.S. equities.)

“Best performing states tend [to lean] towards the Energy sector, with Wyoming, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas performing well,” the team wrote. “Worst performers have far less regional trend, and interestingly there’s very little correlation between long-term performance and 2016 YTD returns.”

After Wyoming, the states that did best on the S&P 500 YTD are:

 

Wyoming is made up of just five, largely energy firms on the Bloomberg State Indices. It’s largest holding, U.S. Energy Corp, has risen 102% YTD.

 

The worst states are:

 

Alaska’s state index is comprised of just three companies—two in telecommunications, one in finance. The largest on the index, General Communications, has fallen nearly 31% over the past year.

These findings come after the rocky start the larger S&P 500 had earlier this year amid an energy glut and persistent fears surrounding Chinese markets. However, the markets turned around shortly after the U.K. decided to exit the EU this past June. U.S. Indexes have since hit record highs repeatedly between July and August as oil prices rise, despite warnings from analysts that company earnings and economic data don’t support the rally.

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