The name of the game is “Catch Up.” And lots of stocks look ready to play.

The major stock market indexes are at all-time highs. The S&P 500 is up 17% so far in 2024. The NASDAQ is up 24%.

But as many financial television talking heads have correctly pointed out, the breadth of the advance has been abysmal. There are more stocks falling than rising.

The list of stocks making new 52-week lows is longer than the new high list. Indeed, only a handful of stocks have contributed to the bulk of the gains of the stock market indexes.

Most stocks are underperforming this market rally. As a result, most investors are likely unhappy with their returns so far this year. Many are probably asking themselves, “Why don’t I just sell everything and put the proceeds into NVIDIA (NVDA)?”

That would be a mistake – because the game is changing.

Losers Can Catch Up Quickly

For the first six months of the year, the stock market played “follow the leader.” Strong stocks got stronger. Weak stocks got weaker. NVDA was the strongest of the strong stocks, posting a gain of 160% year-to-date.

But that momentum is waning. For the past month NVDA is up “only” 2% – matching the return of the S&P 500.

Granted, nobody should be disappointed earning “only” 2% in one month. My point, though, is rather than leading the market higher – as it had done since the start of the year – NVDA was merely marching in line with the market. 

The larger gains are starting to show up in the lagging stocks.

Consider, for example, the recent action in Tesla (TSLA)…

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TSLA started the year at $240 per share. One month ago, it was trading at $170. So, while the S&P 500 was posting a double-digit gain, TSLA shares were lagging behind – down 29% for the first five months of 2024.

But look at what has happened since then…


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TSLA is up 47% in just one month. The stock is now positive on the year. It has gone from one of the stock market’s worst performers of 2024 to one of the best performers of the past month.

In other words, TSLA has played one heck of a game of Catch-Up.

I suspect that’s the game the stock market will play for the rest of the year. So, rather than dumping the losers and plowing the proceeds into the stock market’s highflyers, traders should look at the stocks that have underperformed the market so far this year. And then ask, “Are these stocks ready to play Catch-Up?”

Best regards and good trading,


Jeff Clark
Editor, Market Minute