This year it has paid to be a U.S. company.
CNBC screened 120 companies in the S&P that derived more than 98 percent of sales from the United States. While the FTSE CNBC Global 300 is up 6 percent, the overall S&P is up more than 8.5 percent. The 120 American companies have seen gains on par with the S&P.
Among the best performing sector in that group are homebuilders, like Pulte Homes — up 75 percent, as we’ve seen more encouraging data on housing .
“Over the past week we got every housing number that was positive," said Peter Bookvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak. “They're all pointing to kind of a bottoming process, but there's a long way between a bottoming process and a natural recovery.”
Seven of the top 20 best performing stocks are financials. The sector is up about 13.5 percent year-to-date. But what’s interesting is that utilities, up just 3 percent year-to-date, have been surpassed by the performance of these less defensive sectors.
“Financials have a low exposure...and consumer discretionary also has a relatively low foreign exposure,” said Sam Stovall, Chief Investment officer at S&P.
And while the U.S. may be relatively better off than its counterparts across the Atlantic, Boockvar cautions that the American economy and U.S.-centric firms will be not immune from the global slowdown .
He points to Bed, Bath and Beyond , which recently warned of slowing sales. “While it's not to the extent that Europe is, the U.S. is not a place to hide.”
As Stovall put it, “The U.S. is more defensive on a global basis, but not necessarily when it comes to a volatility perspective.”
Top ten best performers are: PHM (Pulte Group), RF (Regional Financial Corp), LEN (Lennar Corp), S (Sprint Nextel), DFS (Discover Financial Services), FII (Federated Investors), STI (SunTrust Banks), MPC (Marathon Petroleum Corp), CMCSA (Comcast), ROST (Ross Stores).
If you had invested $100 in each of the top ten at the beginning of the year, you would be up nearly 49 percent. That thousand dollars would be worth $1,490 right now.
— By CNBC's Bertha Coombs @coombscnbc
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