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The best and worst performing S&P 500 stocks of 2024

The best and worst performing S&P 500 stocks of 2024

Despite interest rates remaining high and inflation again inching higher, 2024 has reintroduced optimism into the stock market and the crypto market alike.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the S&P 500 index, which has climbed above 5,000 and is running close to its records this year, and Bitcoin (BTC), which has set several consecutive new all-time highs prior to the latest price correction.

Still, while 2024 has offered many winners, seldom does every stock on the market perform well simultaneously, and Finbold decided to take a look at the best and worst-performing stocks numbered among the ranks of the S&P 500 index.

Best performance: Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA)

Continuing straight from its 2023 successes, the semiconductor giant Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) is the best-performing S&P 500 stock of the first three months of 2024. 

The blue-chip chipmaker not only holds a dominant position in the microchip market but is also one of the major beneficiaries of the ongoing artificial intelligence (AI) boom.

NVDA shares have recorded staggering growth in 2024 and are 82.58% in the green year-to-date (YTD).

NVDA YTD stock price chart. Source: Finbold

More recently, however, Nvidia has struggled to stay above $900 and is down 7.63% in the last 7 days. NVDA also closed the latest trading day – Thursday, March 14 – 3.24% in the red at $879.44.

Worst performance: Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)

The electric vehicle (EV) makers have been offering a mixed and mostly poor – barring several Chinese EV companies – performance in 2023 and since the start of 2024. 

While not the biggest loser of the industry overall, Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) is both the worst-performing EV stock and the worst-performing company overall on the S&P 500.

TSLA has been struggling with sluggish demand, labor disputes, reportedly lacking quality of its Cybertruck, production issues, and – most recently – a string of analyst downgrades which only further depressed the share price.

Since 2024 started, Tesla stock has done little other than decline and is 34.59% in the red on the YTD chart.

TSLA YTD stock price chart. Source: Finbold

The more recent performance also gives little room for optimism, and TSLA recorded a 4.12% decline on the last full trading day with a close at $162.5, with the downward momentum lending ever more credence to the most bearish prediction of 2024 – Tesla’s collapse to $23.

Great performance: Constellation Energy (NASDAQ: CEG)

Largely thanks to figures that significantly surpassed expectations and the company’s own guidance, the Baltimore-based Constellation Energy (NASDAQ: CEG) is, at press time, the second-best performing S&P 500 company of 2024.

YTD, CEG shares are up 42.85 with the most dramatic chapter of the advance taking place in late February. Indeed, in the last 30 days, Constellation surged 25.20%.

CEG YTD stock price chart. Source: Google

Despite a generally positive outlook, more recent sessions were marked by a correction for CEG stock. It is 8.25% down on the weekly chart and ended the last session 1.92% in the red at $164.64.

Poor performance: Boeing (NYSE: BA)

Just looking at the headlines, Boeing (NYSE: BA) feels like the best candidate for the worst-performing stock of 2024, while in reality, it is only the second-worst. 

The aircraft manufactured has been plagued by quality issues of its MAX series of airplanes – and the revelations that it wasn’t prompt in resolving critical issues it was aware of in the past – and the linked investigations, cancellations, and lawsuits for years and all the problems came back with a vengeance following a January emergency landing of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.

Since 2024 started, Boeing shares have declined 28.05% and have also been crashing in recent time frames. 

BA YTD stock price chart. Source: Finbold

Last week saw BA stock fall 10.10%, and the latest trading session 0.66% with a closing price of $181.15.

As a side note, Boeing is down more than 18% since Jim Cramer said 2024 would be its year and about 15% since he again recommended buying the stock in late January.

Great performance: Meta (NASDAQ: META)

While not a particularly active participant in the AI boom – and generally not much-discussed in recent years – the proud owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and most importantly, Threads, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) is the S&P 500’s third best-performing stock of the first trimester of 2024.

Since the start of the year, Meta is 42.03% in the green but has shown some signs of slowing down more recently as it is 4.39% down on the weekly chart and ended the latest session down 0.75% at $491.83.

META YTD stock price chart. Source: Finbold

Meta might also hold a promise of an even better performance later in the year, should the Senate concur with its colleagues in Congress and remove one of the company’s most successful competitors from the U.S. – TikTok.

Poor performance: Humana Inc (NYSE: HUM)

The healthcare-focused insurance company Humana (NYSE: HUM) holds the dubious honor of being the third-worst performing S&P 500 stock of 2024. 

HUM was, in relatively quick succession, struck with a detrimental trifecta of a reduced revenue outlook for 2024, lower-than-expected membership growth, and changes in the Medicare Advantage market it struggled to navigate.

Combined, the recent issues Humana has faced led its stock to lose 25.78% since January 1.

HUM YTD stock price chart. Source: Google

The more recent performance has been somewhat more positive, and HUM shares climbed 2.01% in the last week. Humana stock ended the latest trading session with 1.07% in the green at $348.89.

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