A look at the top 10 US stocks by market cap

Market Analyst, eToro · 22 September 2021
So far 2021 has been a big year for the global stock market. From high-profile IPOs and listings, to lockdown benefitted stocks and booming industries, there are plenty of opportunities available for budding investors looking to build long term, diversified portfolios.

Here’s a look into the top 10 US stocks that are currently leading the way for retail and institutional investors alike, defined by market cap in September 2021. Could these the be the best stocks to buy now?

* Figures are correct as of September 3, 2021

1) Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) – market cap of US$2.45 trillion

Apple is arguably one of the most successful tech companies on the planet, with most people in the world owning at least one product from the company’s expansive range. The company consistently records enormous profits and was the first company ever to reach a trillion-dollar market cap.

Apple continues to release stellar earnings reports, with the latest FQ3 report propelling the company to new record highs, trading at US$153.12.

The highly anticipated launch of Apple’s iPhone13 in the second half of 2021 could be the catalyst for further upside for Apple’s stock.

2) Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) – market cap of US$2.25 trillion

With some of the most-used products and software in its ever-growing portfolio such as Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Skype and LinkedIn, Microsoft has continued to impress investors.

At the time of writing, Microsoft has performed exceptionally well, returning around 36% year-to-date. The company’s recent FQ4 earnings demonstrated prolonged growth, with a 21% rise in revenues year-over-year. With a diverse range of revenue, exposure to personal computing, cloud, business processes, gaming and even advertising, Microsoft has proven its a company that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

3) Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) – market cap of US$1.91 trillion

Operating as a holding company for some of the most dominant collections of businesses in the world, including Google, Alphabet’s share, at the time of writing, has the second best appreciation so far in 2021, returning 66% year-to-date.

Acquiring YouTube in 2006 for a mere US$1.65 billion, Alphabet has benefitted from the platform’s success ever since. In fact, the video-sharing platform is on course to hit gross ad revenues of USD$100 billion by 2025, thanks to the seismic shift towards on-demand video and streaming services.

4) Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) – market cap of US$1.75 trillion

What first began as a bookstore in 1994 dreamt up by billionaire Jeff Bezos, Amazon has had the largest trailing 12-month revenue in 2021, coming in at a colossal US$443.3 billion.

Due to the shift from bricks-and-mortar to online spending due to the global pandemic, Amazon’s share price appreciated 76% in 2020. However, the company’s shares have significantly underperformed so far in 2021, returning just 6% as growth begins to slow.

5) Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) – market cap of US$1.06 trillion

The world’s largest social network, Facebook, which currently boasts an astronomical 2.8 billion global active monthly users, has secured its position as a powerhouse for advertising serving around 10 billion advertisers, as of 2021.

Coming off a recent strong earnings report in Q2 2021, Facebook’s revenues have grown 56% year-over-year, the fastest level of growth Facebook has experienced since 2016. Despite a highly profitable balance sheet, the company’s issued guidance has illustrated that growth could potentially slow down in the second half of 2021.

6) Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) – market cap of US$737.06 billion

Elon Musk’s electric vehicle giant Tesla continues to deliver a record number of vehicles, quarter-over-quarter, as new factories in Berlin, Texas and expansion in Shanghai support the company’s manufacturing capabilities and scale potential.

Despite a sky-high valuation and the highest price-to-earnings ratio out of the top 10 stocks by market cap in September 2021, Tesla still defied the odds of the ravenous global chip shortage to deliver 201,250 vehicles in Q2 2021, up 122% year-over-year. This also helped to push profits to a record US$1.1 billion

7) Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) – market cap of US$627.06 billion

One of the oldest companies on the stock market and led by the world’s most renowned investor Warren Buffet as CEO, Berkshire Hathaway’s shares have performed well year-to-date, up 23%. This is thanks, in part, to the economic report that has been experienced so far this year, which has pushed the holding company’s earnings higher.

With a massive balance sheet of around US$144 billion, Berkshire Hathaway has continued to stick to its disciplined approach when it comes to investing in some of the world’s biggest companies. The company’s sizable financial position indicates some future activity in the latter part of 2021 and even into 2022, which may be in the form of buybacks.

8) Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) – market cap of US$556.05 billion

Multinational tech company that is best known for creating GPUs used in gaming consoles, mobile computing and auto, Nvidia has been one of the best performing stocks in the market so far this year. At the time of writing, it has gained around 72% year-to-date.

As another stock that has been affected by the global chip shortage, Nvidia hasn’t let the roadblock stop it, with company revenues growing by 68% year-over-year in its latest Q2 2021 earnings report, setting a new quarterly record. Nvidia’s full-year earnings are expected to reach US$6.73 by FY2025, as it looks to progress with further expansion and acquire Arm Holdings, a semiconductor firm based in the UK.

9) Visa (NYSE: V) – market cap of US$474.34 billion

To date, global payments company Visa has processed over US$3 trillion in payment volume for 3 billion account holders to over 61 million merchants.

While the company’s shares have returned a measly 2.94% year-to-date, its recent FQ3 earnings have shown some resilience as a result of renewed consumer spending in the US, with growth of 41% year-over-year.

10) JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) – market cap of US$469.35 billion

Largest investment bank in the US, JPMorgan Chase & Co has grown from strength-to-strength in the last 21 years, helping some of the world’s largest companies raise capital and list publicly.

After a difficult 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co reported strong numbers in its most recent earnings report, with a profit increase of 155% year-over-year. In addition, with IPO activity reaching record levels in 2021, the company’s investment banking revenue has increased by 37% year-over-year to US$3.4 billion.

Cover image source: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock.com

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Josh Gilbert is an analyst at eToro. The eToro platform enables people to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to crypto assets.

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