Many factors influence interest in a company’s stock. Some of these factors are under the company’s control, such as actual earnings and growth, while others are not, like rumors, predicted performance, and corporate mishaps. Our last analysis of the American investment market focused on the drastic impact quarterly earnings reports have on stock searches (and rates), and identified a new set of top-of-mind stocks. As earnings reports aren’t the only factor investors take into consideration when scanning the market, we wanted to see what the top ten stock tickers are this month, and how they differ from our previous list. We saw significant changes, but surprise, surprise, Apple remained the sweetest and most popular stock. Read on for our full analysis.  

Top ten stock tickers searched in May 2016

We analyzed U.S. stock ticker searches on Yahoo Finance to identify the leading stocks and month-over-month trends in public interest. This month, we found only 70 percent of Americans searched for individual S&P 500 stocks, compared to 91 percent in April. Our data also revealed that Apple is consistently leading the pack, accounting for more than a quarter of the activity since the beginning of the year.

So, what has changed since last month? Disney, SPDR S&P 500, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Gilead Sciences made the list, bringing in nearly a third of the stock searchers, while Netflix, AT&T, Bank of America, and Ford Motors lost their top-of-mind status. What else? Facebook fell from second place to fourth place, Amazon rose from third place to second, Tesla fell from fourth place to sixth, and Microsoft took ninth place.

# Stock % of Top 10 MoM change in search activity
1 Apple 27% -1%
2 Amazon 12% 2%
3 Valeant Pharmaceuticals 8% 4%
4 Facebook 8% -42%
5 SPDR S&P 500 8% -9%
6 Tesla Motors 8% -28%
7 General Electric 7% -16%
8 Gilead Sciences 7% 22%
9 Microsoft 7% -30%
10 Disney 7% 18%

May’s leading movers and shakers

Analyzing consumer search trends to detect the leading stocks is just one part of the puzzle, as month-over-month changes in public interest reveal additional insights into America’s investments. Many factors can influence an investor’s interest in a particular stock, including corporate communication, legislation, press coverage, expected earnings reports, and actual revenue generated. Take Target for example, which exhibited a 136 percent month-over-month increase in stock ticker searchers, mainly due to an expected disappointing earnings report, and a decline in year-over-year revenue, which cut the stock’s rate by 13.5 percent. Nvidia is another example, as it experienced a 82 percent increase in searches, and its stock price increased by 31.5 percent in May, thanks to its inclusion on Goldman Sachs’s conviction buy list.


# Stock MoM change in search activity
1 Target 136%
2 Nvidia 82%
3 Intel -48%
4 Abbott Laboratories 46%
5 Allergan -44%
6 Home Depot 43%
7 Facebook -42%
8 IBM -42%
9 Wells Fargo -39%
10 Ford Motor -37%

Bottom line: There are a lot of factors influencing stock prices, public interest, and investment firm recommendations. The stock market is unpredictable and things change quickly, which is why you have to continuously track and compare performance over time to detect trends, and assess the potential ROI and risks. Check back in Q3 for our next installment of the top ten stock tickers searched in the U.S.