There are just two weeks left in the year, and despite a couple of rocky periods, it looks as if the year is coming to come to a close with a gain. As it currently stands, the Dow Jones is up 4.0%, the S&P 500 is up 8.0%, and the NASDAQ has risen 10.0%. Along the way, some stocks have greatly outperformed the market, and the big question is whether or not they will continue to build on that momentum in 2015.
Before deciding the fate of an individual stock, we must first look at the overall economic landscape. Oil prices have been falling, which has temporarily depressed the stock market, but in the long-term, lower oil prices should actually benefit most companies. Earlier in December there was a bullish jobs report, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting the U.S. added 321,000 new jobs in November. The December jobs report will not come out until January, but as it stands, 2015 appears to be the best year for job creation in the U.S. dating back to 1999.
The biggest problems that face Wall Street right now remain slowing growth in China, and economic weakness in Europe. These problems could put the brakes on the recovery in the U.S., but as long as things in the U.S. continue on the current course 2015 should prove to be another up year on Wall Street.
As is always going to be the case, the majority of stocks roughly kept pace with the broader market, while some outliers enjoyed strong gains or deep losses. Let's take a look at a handful of stocks that greatly outperformed the overall market, and see what clues we can find as to whether or not 2015 will be another strong year for these stocks.
*note: year to date prices are accurate through close of trading December 16, 2014