Nearly seven years since the economic recession was officially over, America is still weary of the stock market. Research finds that only 55 percent of adult Americans own stocks, and nearly 4 in 5 millennials are not currently investing in the stock market. That being said, more and more millennials are investing in stocks with each passing year. These findings intrigued us, so we decided to map out the stocks Americans search to glean insights into the market. We found that during this timeframe, only one stock displayed month-over-month growth in public interest: AT&T. Read on for our full findings. 

Top ten stock tickers searched

We analyzed two months of stock ticker search activity on Yahoo Finance and found that the general public is mostly interested in Apple. This is likely due to the continuous increase in the stock’s value since the beginning of the year, finally surpassing $100 since it dropped below that in early January. Another interesting find is that more than 80 percent of searches were for individual S&P 500 stocks.

# Stock % of Searchers
1 Apple 20.2%
2 SPDR S&P 500 9.8%
3 Bank of America 9.3%
4 AT&T 9.1%
5 Facebook 9.1%
6 Chesapeake Energy 8.7%
7 Amazon 8.6%
8 Ford Motor 8.5%
9 Valeant Pharmaceuticals 8.5%
10 General Electric 8.0%

While this may give the impression that Americans understand the importance of a diversified investment portfolio—tech, pharmaceutical, automotive, telecom and oil and gas industries are all reflected in this list—this is only true for older generations. The top five stocks searched by millennials are all tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. This, along with the fact that millennials are under-represented in the investment market suggests that millennials’ financial knowledge might be limited to high profile tech companies.

Monthly Changes

Looking at the leading stock searches on a monthly level reveals further insight. AT&T was the biggest winner with a 15 percent month-over-month increase in searchers. On the flip side, Bank of America was the biggest loser with 26 percent decrease.

February vs. March leading stock tickers searched
February 2016 March 2016
# Stock % of Searchers # Stock % of Searchers
1 Apple 20.0% 1 Apple 19.0%
2 Bank of America 10.0% 2 Valeant Pharmaceuticals 14.0%
3 Amazon 9.7% 3 AT&T 9.7%
4 Facebook 9.4% 4 SPDR S&P 500 9.6%
5 SPDR S&P 500 9.2% 5 General Electric 9.0%
6 Chesapeake Energy 9.0% 6 Facebook 8.1%
7 Ford Motor 8.5% 7 Bank of America 8.0%
8 Tesla Motors 8.2% 8 Ford Motor 7.9%
9 Kinder Morgan 8.1% 9 Chesapeake Energy 7.7%
10 AT&T 7.8% 10 ExxonMobil 7.1%

Bottom line: The last recession has made America doubtful of the stock market. Things change quickly in the financial industry, which is why it’s important to stay up to date with the current information, compare it to past performance, understand the risks and try to enjoy the ride. We will continue to share our top ten stock ticker analysis, so stay tuned!