EPAM Soared, Ball Corp. Sank. Here Are the 5 Best and 5 Worst Performers in the S&P 500 in August.

Constellation Energy is the second-best performer in the S&P 500 in August.


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The dog days of summer haven’t been too kind to the stock market.

While a mid-August rally saw the


S&P 500

surge to its highest point since April 2022, the index has since contracted, losing 3.3% over the course of the month.

Hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, as well as a slew of mixed economic indicators, have fueled concerns that the central bank is poised to keep hiking interest rates at a clip in a bid to tame inflation.

The pullback has been more painful for some stocks than for others.

Best Performers



EPAM Systems

(ticker:



EPAM

) was the index’s top performer in August, with shares surging 22.9% after the software development company handily beat second-quarter earnings and sales expectations.



Constellation Energy

(



CEG

) followed close behind, surging 22.3% over the course of the month. Constellation is one of the largest producers of carbon-free energy, and is slated to be a beneficiary of the Democrats’ climate change bill, which was signed into law earlier this month.

Health care services giant



Cardinal Health

(



CAH

) came in third place, gaining 17.4%. The company announced a leadership change when it reported earnings on Aug. 11. A few days later, The Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Elliott Investment Management had taken a large stake in the company.



Nielsen Holdings

(NLSN) and



AES

(



AES

) gained 16% and 15% over the course of the month, respectively, making them the fourth- and fifth-best performers in the index in August.



Nielsen Holdings

is a global marketing data collection and analytics servicer. The company signed a three-year agreement with



Amazon.com

(AMZN) earlier this month to measure Prime Video’s exclusive NFL Thursday Night Football telecasts.

AES is a renewable energies company. Earlier this month, Barron’s predicted that AES shares should perform well, along with other clean energy stocks, specifically after the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Worst Performers



Ball
Corp.

(BALL) was the S&P 500’s worst performer in August. The company provides metal packaging for beverages like soda, as well as food and other household products. The company reported second-quarter earnings below Wall Street estimates earlier this month, and shares of



Ball

have fallen 22.5% in August.



SolarEdge Technologies

(SEDG) dropped 22.4% in August, making it the second-worst performer in the S&P 500 this month. The company, which makes solar-power panels and inverters, posted earnings and revenue for its second quarter below Wall Street estimates this month.



DXC Technology

(DXC) was the third-worst performer in the S&P 500 in August as the stock fell 22.1%. The information technology consulting company posted earnings below analysts’ expectations for its fiscal first quarter early this month and guided for full-year earnings that were below Wall Street expectations.



Match Group

(MTCH) is a dating app provider that owns platforms such as Tinder and Hinge. Shares of Match fell sharply after the company provided disappointing revenue guidance and said it was reducing its hiring plans for 2022. The stock has fallen 21.3% this month, making it the S&P 500’s fourth-worst performer in August and proving that online dating has not fully gone back to pre-pandemic levels.



Catalent

(CTLT) shares have fallen 20.3% in August, making it the fifth-worst performing stock in the index. The medical technology and development company guided for slower revenue growth in fiscal 2023 than Wall Street expected.

What’s Next?

Now traders will move into the historically worst month for markets: September. With concerns over Powell’s hawkish stance on interest rates and high inflation continuing to pinch consumers pockets and businesses costs, stocks could have a particularly bad month ahead.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at sabrina.escobar@barrons.com and Angela Palumbo at angela.palumbo@dowjones.com

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