With the election over, public interest in the three major stock indexes declined substantially. In December, searches for Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ Composite and S&P500 fell by a third compared to a month earlier when they were up 105 percent following Trump’s win. The volume of Americans searching for individual stocks also fell in December, but only by 9 percent month-over-month due to fading interest in Colgate-Palmolive and Facebook. And Apple reclaimed the lead as the most popular stock searched. Read on for our full search findings.
Top 10 stocks searched in December
Every month, we use online behavioral data from our 100-million panel to rank interest in publicly traded shares on U.S. markets by analyzing the individual stocks searched on Yahoo Finance. This month, we found that while there was a slight cool down of searches for the top ten stocks (down 9 percent MoM), the volume of consumers searching for the leading stocks in December was still 21 percent higher than the average for August-October, before November quarterly earnings and the presidential election impacted the stock market.
In November, Facebook and Colgate-Palmolive drove a 5 percent MoM increase in the volume of consumers searching for the top ten stocks, due to their positive quarterly reports that brought in 30 percent of the searchers and secured them the first and third places in the list, respectively. Come December, Facebook fell to third place with only 11 percent of the searchers and Colgate-Palmolive was cut from the top ten list.
Apple reclaims its lead with 16 percent of the top ten stock searches. Apple held the top spot for eight consecutive months before losing its place to Facebook in November, which in turn fell 38 percent in December, returning Apple to first position.
Two competing semiconductor companies debuted in the top ten list in December: Nvidia and its main competitor, Advanced Micro Devices.
Nvidia has previously been featured as one of the movers and shakers, following substantial increases and decreases in search activity. However, this is the first time the ticker made the list for the most popular stocks searched, claiming fourth place with 11 percent of the searches. Advanced Micro Devices also debuted in our top ten list with 8 percent of the searches in December.
Interestingly, Amazon continues to lose public interest, at least as reflected by ticker searches, for the second month. This is likely due to a combination of fallout from the spike of interest which followed the company’s October earnings report and the end of the holiday shopping season.
|#||Stock||% of Top 10||MoM Change in Search Activity|
|2||Bank of America||11%||12%|
|9||Advanced Micro Devices||8%||70%|
December’s movers and shakers
First place for MoM changes goes to Nike with a 90 percent increase in stock searches following the release of positive quarterly earnings report on December 12th. Nike beat sales estimates by $80M and saw a 6 percent year-over-year growth in sales.
Nvidia claimed second place with a 77 percent MoM increase in search activity in December followed the announcement of the company’s record breaking quarterly earnings of $2B, along with a 54 percent YoY increase in sales. The increased search activity around Nvidia’s stock began in November, when the company published its Q3 earnings report, resulting in a 117 percent MoM increase in ticker search activity.
Nvidia’s fiercest competitor, Advanced Micro Devices saw a 70 percent MoM growth in searches as its stock price increased by more than 30 percent in December and a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst double upgraded the stock from “Underperform” to “Buy”.
Aerospace and Defense stock searches skyrocketed in December, with searches for Lockheed Martin and Boeing stocks up more than 73 percent MoM. However, each company had its own reason for their stock search increase.
Lockheed claimed fourth place in the list after securing an additional $450M on integration work on South Korean F-35s. On the other hand, Boeing’s increase in searches was partly due to President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet, calling for cancellation of Boeing’s work on two new Air Force One jets.
Trump’s victory also helped Goldman Sachs. The company’s stock searches were up 68 percent MoM, following the nomination of Goldman Sachs’ Number Two, Gary Cohn, to the National Economic Council.
As for the biggest losers, only two companies experienced MoM losses in stock search activity: Colgate-Palmolive and Facebook. The CPG giant Colgate-Palmolive lost 68 percent of its searches since November, when the company’s positive earnings report drove the stock to the lead for MoM changes with a 228 percent increase in search activity. Positive Q3 earnings also fueled public interest in Facebook in November, securing the lead for stock searches. In December, though, searches for the company’s ticker were down 38 percent.
|#||Stock||MoM Change in Search Activity|
|5||Advanced Micro Devices,||70%|
Bottom line: The election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States caused significant shifts in searches for stock indexes and individual ticker symbols: Up if he seemed to like the company and down if not. Controversy should continue as Trump settles in at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Meanwhile, Apple bounced back as the most popular stock searched, while strong Q3 earnings drove Nike to first place for MoM changes in search activity.