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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Top Performing Industries In May 2024

Stock info on a laptop

The S&P 500 index achieved its strongest May performance since 2020, prompting the question: which industries were leading the gains? Kit Norton, Investors Business Daily author, wrote, “Out of the 197 industry groups tracked by IBD, the Energy-Solar industry group led the way in May, advancing 35.6% on the month. Meanwhile, the Apparel-Shoes & Related Manufacturing group came in second, with the 11 stocks collectively gaining 26.6% in May.” The remainder of the top five industry performers last month, as tracked by Investors Business Daily (IBD), included Telecom-Infrastructure, Retail-Consumer Electronics, and Computer Software-Database groups. Telecom-Infrastructure stocks collectively gained 25.7% in May, while the Retail-Consumer Electronics group saw an increase of 21.8%. Additionally, the Computer Software-Database industry surged by 19.4%.


President Joe Biden's decision to increase tariffs on imported electric vehicles and various clean-energy goods from China on May 14th played a significant role in the remarkable 35.6% surge witnessed by the Energy-Solar group in May. The new trade policy entails a significant increase in tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), rising from 25% to 100%. This measure aims to restrict the influx of China-made EVs into the U.S. market. Additionally, the Biden administration has announced tariffs on various Chinese goods critical to the energy sector, including solar goods, batteries, and critical minerals. Specifically, tariffs on lithium-ion EV batteries will escalate to 25% by 2024, up from the current rate of 7.5%, while tariffs on "battery parts" will reach 25% in the same year. Furthermore, the tariff rate on solar cells is set to increase from 25% to 50% by 2024.

Meanwhile, the Apparel-Shoes & Related Manufacturing sector experienced growth primarily driven by strong earnings reports. On Holding, backed by Roger Federer, surged 34% during the month, while Deckers Outdoor jumped 33.6%. Birkenstock Holding soared over 27%, surpassing a buy point following its fiscal second-quarter earnings report and upward revision of its full-year outlook. Additionally, Crocs saw a 25% increase, and Skechers advanced by 8%. The substantial gains observed across the sector underscore the inherent strength of the footwear industry. Investors should closely monitor these sectors and assess whether they are likely to sustain the momentum witnessed in May or if a pullback is likely in June.


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