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The 10 Best Stocks of the Bull Market

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The bull market that began nearly five years ago now ranks as the fifth-best of the 13 major advances since 1930.

From the market’s bottom on March 9, 2009, through March 5, 2014, Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has returned an annualized 25.3%. In cumulative returns, an investment in the S&P 500 has gained more than 200% when dividends are included.

But some stocks can measure their percentage gains in the thousands. How could that be? Because in the late winter of 2009, the fear gripping the stock market was so intense that even shares of many big-name companies were selling for a few dollars, or sometimes just pennies. They were in effect priced for Armageddon. Investors who had the guts to jump in at that point wound up with massive gains, provided they held on.

We wanted to find out which stocks have done best since the onset of the bull market and see what lessons could be drawn from them. So we asked Morningstar to cull its universe for the ten best performers, measured by total return, from March 9, 2009, through February 21, 2014. We limited the list to companies based in the U.S. and to those with market capitalizations today of at least $1 billion.

Join us for the countdown to number one.

(Returns are through February 21, but share prices and related ratios are as of March 5. Price-earnings ratios are based on estimated calendar 2014 earnings, unless otherwise indicated).

The 10 Best Stocks of the Bull Market
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