The 50 Best Stocks of All Time

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Mid caps are often considered to offer more growth potential than larger caps but less than small caps and less risk than small caps but more than large caps. Investing in the DJIA is made widely accessible in equities through exchange-traded funds ETFs as well as in derivatives through option contracts and futures contracts. O Operating Expenses The costs a fund incurs in connection with running the fund, including management fees, distribution 12b-1 fees, and other expenses. Full Name Chevron Corp.

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You can learn more about our cookie policy here , or by following the link at the bottom of any page on our site. The price of the Dow Jones index is adjusted in real time when the US markets are open in response to changes in the values of its constituent stocks. Keep up with live price movements with our Dow Jones chart and in-depth market commentary on the Dow Jones today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a stock index that tracks the performance of 30 of the biggest companies in the US.

The Dow Jones is a price-weighted index, which means that its value is based on the price of its constituent shares rather than alternative measures such as market capitalisation. The main purpose of the Dow is to give key insights about the health of the US stock market and even the economy as a whole. Traders turn to the Dow as a benchmark against which the relative performances of individual stocks can be measured.

While originally devised to track the performance of US industrial output manufacturing , its constituent companies now hail from sectors including telecommunications, energy, tech, pharmaceutical and entertainment to better reflect the modern US economy. Changes are sometimes made to ensure that the Dow continues to display an accurate cross-section of the US equity market.

While this divisor was originally the number of stocks in the index, it is regularly adjusted to ensure that the value of the index is not adversely affected by stock splits, changes to the composition of the index, or other modifications. However, it has since expanded to include 30 companies listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq, which represent a diverse cross-section of the industries comprising the US economy. However, while the average annual return has been positive, there has been significant volatility between years.

Since the performance of the Dow Jones is meant to reflect the behavior of the US economy, many of the same factors which impact the economy also tend to drive the price of the Dow. For example, its price can move in response to changes in monetary policy and economic data releases.

Pfizer also owes its growth to its many successful acquisitions. Since , it has purchased Warner-Lambert, Pharmacia and Wyeth.

Joining the likes of Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb on this list of top-performing stocks is fellow drug maker Abbott Labs. The company has a long and eventful history that dates to its founding in Abbott first paid a dividend in , and it has raised its payout annual for the last 46 years in a row. The company went public in Its many decades as a dividend-paying public company have certainly attributed to the extraordinary lifetime returns of its stock.

Abbott now focuses on generic drugs, medical devices, nutrition and diagnostic products. Technical glitches marred the initial public offering, and the stock traded below the IPO price for more than a year.

Since then, however, it's been nothing but blue skies. The relentless growth of digital advertising bodes well for further gains. Just how explosive has Facebook's rise been?

In just four and a half years it has created the same amount of wealth for shareholders that it took Abbott Labs nearly 80 years to create. Disney began as a cartoon studio in , and Mickey Mouse appeared in his first starring role five years later. The company issued stock for the first time in In the decades since, Walt Disney expanded into live-action films, theme parks, toys and television.

The stock has nearly tripled in value over the last 10 years, but shares face increasing pressure as viewers cut the cable cord and turn to other forms of entertainment. But Disney, a Dow component since , has adapted to a changing media landscape before and recently inked a deal to acquire much of 21st Century Fox FOXA.

The company began in as a small-time outfit in search of the mineral corundum. Today, 3M makes 60, products, with one-third of sales coming from products invented in the last five years. Shareholders have happily gone along for the ride. Even prior to the merger, Mobil was among the largest oil companies in the nation, tracing its lineage back to Standard Oil of New York. As for the wisdom of its deal with Exxon almost two decade ago, keep reading to learn where ExxonMobil lands among the 50 greatest stocks since Oracle is one of several technology stocks to crack the top 50, a notable feat considering most Big Tech companies are relatively young compared to the rest of the names on this list.

Founded in and publicly traded since , Oracle got its start as a provider of database management software. As much as any high-tech company of the era, it rode the lates tech bubble to lofty heights -- and then crashed.

Where Oracle goes from here is less clear. Larry Ellison is still with the company after 40 years, though now in the role of chief technology officer. Management, led by co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, is in the midst of a major transformation, trying to reinvent the company and embrace the rush to cloud-based services.

Pepsi, the cola drink, was created in the late 19 th century by a North Carolina pharmacist. Incidentally, Pepsi stock dates back to via a predecessor company, candy maker Loft Inc.

The natural combination of carbonated beverages and salty snacks proved to be a winner for decades, with PepsiCo increasing its dividend every year for 46 straight years.

Today, however, PepsiCo is working against a slide in soda sales. Like the rest of the industry, it has responded by expanding its offerings of non-carbonated beverages. It sells Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Aquafina water, among other brands.

Home Depot has been a publicly traded company since Yet, shares in the nation's largest home-improvement chain have generated a big chunk of their gains just in the last six years. The collapse of the housing market that precipitated the Great Recession of the late s was a painful period for Home Depot. It's resurgence since on the back of low mortgage rates — coupled with a shortage of new housing, which has prompted homeowners to stay put and renovate — has remade its fortunes of late.

After notching an all-time high in early , it remains to be seen how much upside is left, at least in the short term. Then known as J. But PC sales are like a slowly melting iceberg. Softening the blow, Intel remains the biggest player in making CPUs for back-end servers, which are very much in demand in order to power the rapid shift to cloud-based computing.

What's troubling is that Intel missed opportunities to make chips for mobile devices, which is where much of future growth lies. The tech stock was added to the Dow in , near the height of the dot-com boom. Wells Fargo has been in the banking business for a long time — make that a very long time.

The company was founded in , and even today its name is synonymous with the iconic six-horse stagecoach of the 19th century American West. Warren Buffett's history with Wells Fargo goes way back, too.

His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, first started buying shares of the bank in Merck is the top pure-play drug maker on this list with lifetime wealth creation between and totaling well over a quarter-trillion dollars. The company was established in , and the stock has been a component of the Dow since The 21st century has been less kind, however.

In the past 17 years, Merck has experienced plenty of ups and downs, from the Vioxx recall in to its megamerger with Schering-Plough in Whether the stock can regain its former glory remains to be seen. It paid generous dividends and carried low risk; in other words, it was an ideal investment for those who needed income and could ill afford to lose principal.

It was dropped from the industrial average in , added back in , and dropped again in It's been a long road to get to this point. The chemicals giant got its start more than years ago when E. As the company grew and gained prominence, it was briefly added to Dow Jones industrial average in but dropped a year later. DuPont was added back to the Dow in , where it remained for more than 80 years.

Coca-Cola the drink was invented in , a decade before the creation of the Dow. Coca-Cola the stock made a brief appearance as a component of the industrial average in the s. Like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola the company is adding everything from bottled water to fruit juices to sports drinks to its product lineup to make up for slowing soda sales. At least the company's commitment to its dividend should be a source of comfort to income investors.

Coca-Cola has paid a quarterly dividend since , and that cash payout has increased annually for 55 straight years. It's been a heck of a ride for shareholders since the market debut. The performance is all the more remarkable considering most of the best stocks of all time have goosed their returns by paying out generous dividends for decades. The current bull market has been especially kind to Amazon investors, with the share price experiencing a fold increase since March Amazingly, Amazon's best days may still lie ahead.

Its recent acquisition of Whole Foods is threatening to disrupt the grocery business, and package delivery by drones could become reality in the not-too-distant future. The company has paid shareholders a dividend since and has raised its dividend annually for 61 years in a row.

Few stocks are as venerable and dependable. The company owns some of the best-known brands in the business including Charmin toilet paper, Crest toothpaste, Tide laundry detergent, Pampers diapers and Gillette razors. The growing popularity of discount retailers stocking cheaper store brands has been particularly challenging.

Look to the stock price for proof: It should come as no surprise that the greatest value investor of all time would be behind one of the best stocks of all time. Warren Buffett took control of Berkshire Hathaway, a struggling textile manufacturer, in the early s. As it quickly became clear that U. By the late s Buffett had already diversified into banking, insurance and newspaper publishing. He never looked back.

Berkshire is now a holding company comprised of dozens of diverse businesses selling everything from underwear Fruit of the Loom to insurance policies Geico. Berkshire has also been a vehicle for Buffett to invest in stocks, which he has done shrewdly and successfully. At 87 years old, Buffett has given no indication when he will retire. Alphabet has certainly made the most of its relatively short time as a publicly traded company.

The Google search engine is Alphabet's most important business, but not its only one, thus the corporate name change. It stands to reason that the world's largest retailer happens to have one of the best-performing stocks over the long haul. But it's been a long road to greatness. At the close of its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange in , Wal-Mart Stores was worth 4 cents a share, adjusted for splits and dividends.

From humble beginnings as a single discount store, Wal-Mart now operates more than 11, retail locations around the globe and employs 2. The emergence of Amazon, in particular, as a competitor has prompted Wal-Mart to invest heavily in its e-commerce business, and the early returns from these efforts look promising. A component of the Dow since , Wal-Mart has increased its dividend every year since It's also been a reliable deliverer of dividend income.

With 30 consecutive years of annual growth in its cash payouts to shareholders, Chevron's track record instills confidence that the dividend will continue to rise well into the future.

Rockefeller's legendary oil empire. Chevron operated for decades as Standard Oil of California, though the Chevron brand was used on products as far back as the s. Immediately prior to that the company was known as ChevronTexaco in recognition of its merger with Texaco.

Chevron, under its various names, was a component of the Dow from to , and then again from to the present. General Motors was a titan of industry in 20th century America.

It was dropped from the industrial average a year later before being added back in It remained a component of the Dow until GM was forced into bankruptcy in Although the original GM stock was one of the great winners of the last century, its recent fortunes haven't been as bright. Founded in by three brothers, the company created the first commercial first aid kits and it was the first to mass-produce dental floss — all before Its iconic Band-Aid bandages hit the market in The ever-rising dividend, along with the popularity of its products, eventually made the stock too conspicuous to ignore.

Smokeless Tobacco and cigars John Middleton. Altria also owns St. This resulted in the emergence of several successor companies. Among others, Standard Oil Co. The company became the largest refiner of the United States and dominated the market of gas liquids. The merger had positive effects on the business and CVX stock price was on the rise. However, oversupply and recession brought bearish markets for the oil industry. Chevron overcame these difficulties by launching more and more international projects, seizing oil extraction opportunities in Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Angola, and the North Sea.

In the s, however, the company had to turn to more remote oil fields because extraction of oil became more and more difficult. The year brought not only the acquisition of Unocal Corp. The company has been bearing the name of Chevron Corporation ever since. In subsequent years, Chevron stock price has been through the roof.

Chevron joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average in

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