If you ignored the advice to sell in May, you probably fared reasonably well last month, as the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) posted a gain of more than 2% on the month. Even with a last minute swoon coming at the end of last week, more than two-thirds of the 500 component stocks of the popular index managed to gain ground during May.
Of course, some stocks did better than others. Let’s take a look today at the four best performers in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) over the past month, with an eye toward getting some hints about whether the stocks have further to run.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD)
, up 41.8% Most of the gains for Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) came amid excitement about the company’s victories in getting its chips chosen for some of the most popular next-generation gaming consoles, including the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Yet despite the obvious benefit of having a place in what could be a major revival for video-gaming
, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD)
still has to address the bigger questions of whether it can get its chips into popular mobile devices. With huge amounts of competition in that space, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD) has a long way to go before it can prove to investors that it deserves a higher share price.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)
, up 30.6%
Like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE:AMD), Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) got some big news during May, in the form of a partnership with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)
to produce video games based on the Star Wars
franchise. That, in combination with hopes about the potential impact of new gaming consoles on Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA)’s core business, got investors excited about the stock once more. Yet as Fool contributor Rick Munarriz points out, EA’s earnings in its previous quarter
included some concerns about the potential for slowing growth at the company, and despite raising its guidance for the coming fiscal year, the big question long-term is whether Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) will really get that much profit out of Star Wars
— or whether the recent buyer of Lucasfilm will keep most of the proceeds for itself.
Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU)
, up 24%
Micron vaulted into the stratosphere in May on news that it won the bidding for the assets of bankrupt Japanese DRAM memory maker Elpida
, paying $2.75 billion to beat out two other major bidding groups. With the purchase, Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) will suddenly be among the top players in the industry, trailing Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KRX:005930)
but coming in ahead of South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc (KRX:000660)
. As consolidation in the industry continues, the prospects for bitter price wars to end and for margins to rise look brighter, and that could spell long-term profits for Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) once its deal is complete.