We recently calculated the distance from all-time highs for the stocks in the S&P 500. For the entire index, the median stock would have to rise 77.25% to get back to its all-time high. Below we have broken down the median distance from all-time highs by sector. As shown, the Technology sector, which obviously bubbled up and burst in 2000, has the highest median distance from all-time highs at 207%. Telecom ranks second worst at 123.15%, and then Energy and Financials -- which got hit hard during the 2008 crash -- rank 3rd and 4th worst at 104.71% and 108.84% respectively.
Stocks in the Consumer Staples sector are closest to their all-time highs. The median stock in Consumer Staples is 36.71% away from its all-time high. Surprisingly, Industrials ranks second best at 52.03%, followed by Health Care, Utilities, Consumer Discretionary, and then Materials.
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So which stocks in the S&P 500 are closest to their all-time highs? Below are all names in the index that need to gain 15% or less to get to all-time highs. There are 15 that are basically trading at all-time highs right now (within 5%). Airgas (ARG), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), and Wisconsin Energy (NYSE:WEC) are the closest at less than 1%.