Three years ago today, the US Financial system went into chaos following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Lehman's bankruptcy also exacerbated the declines in what was also an already weak equity market. Although the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) did eventually regain all of the losses it encountered in the aftermath of Lehman's bankruptcy, following this Summer's swoon, the index currently is just under 5% from its closing level prior to Lehman's bankruptcy.
While the overall market is down since then, the market has not been devoid of winners. In fact, of the current members of the S&P 500 there are 24 stocks that have seen triple digits returns since the collapse of Lehman. Although it may be hard to believe given today's 14% shellacking, the best performing S&P 500 stock over the last three years is Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which is still up by more than 500%. Another interesting aspect of the list of biggest winners since Lehman's bankruptcy is that fact that each of the top three and eleven out the 24 names listed are all from the Consumer Discretionary sector, and this occurred over a period in which unemployment rose from 6.2% to 9.1%.
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