The Best and Worst Dow Stocks From 2020

We look at the performance of all 30 Dow Jones stocks in 2020, including those that led the average's march to new heights ... and those that weighed it down.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average might have taken its lumps in 2020, but it ultimately exited the year better for the experience. The average closed out the year with a 7.3% gain, though several stocks obviously did better than that.

Others, not so much.

Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab)) was the clear leader in the clubhouse, finishing with an 82.3% total return (price plus dividends) thanks in large part to hope that the iPhone 12 would start a new iPhone "supercycle." So far, based on Wedbush channel checks, those hopes appear to be panning out.

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Microsoft (MSFT (opens in new tab), +42.5% in 2020), like many tech stocks, was resilient through the market downturn because of the necessity of its digital offerings amid a shift to workers having to work from home. And Nike (NKE (opens in new tab), +41.0% in 2020) recovered much more vigorously than many other apparel stocks thanks in large part to success in its digital direct-to-consumer offerings.

And while COVID-19 would seem like a boon to pharmacy stocks such as Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA, -29.4% in 2020), that wasn't the case. Increased cleaning costs, an uptake in lower-margin goods and a staggering decline in foot traffic to its U.K. Boots stores weighed on shares. So too did Amazon.com's (AMZN) official November announcement of a full-service online service, Amazon Pharmacy.

The worst Dow stock of 2020, however, was Boeing (BA (opens in new tab), -33.9% in 2020), which started the year still struggling to get its 737-Max aircraft line back in the air after a pair of high-profile crashes. It struggled further still after COVID caused widespread global flight cancellations and crushed demand for air travel once flights were allowed to resume.

You can check out the table below for a full look at the best and worst Dow performers in 2020, based on their total returns. Data and table provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Table showing individual performance of every Dow Jones Industrial Average component.

(Image credit: S&P Global Market Intelligence)
Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.