Top Large Cap Stocks
The first six months of 2015 proved a game of two halves, with stockmarkets rallying strongly until mid-April before global concerns caused investors to rethink their stock positions. Greece and the prospect of a possible exit from the Eurozone and a step into the unknown continue to create additional volatility and uncertainty for investors. However, investors have also been keeping a close eye on the Federal Reserve, which is looking to take the first steps towards normalising US monetary policy and starting the process of raising interest rates.
Throughout this period investors remained actively trading and over the course of the next few weeks we will be bringing you up to date with Interactive Investor's most traded stocks over the first six months of 2015 - starting with our Top 5 most traded large cap UK stocks.
This is not a personal recommendation to deal and the decision to invest is yours alone. If you are in any doubt whether these investments are suitable for you then you should consult your financial adviser.
We have also just published our most traded small cap stocks report.
Lloyds has been the stock to own over the past three years, rising from 25p in May 2012 to its current 87p. Posting a year to date return of 14%, the future looks attractive for the stock, which resumed dividends in May, after more than six years. The Government stake in the bank has limited the growth prospects of the stock and the announced sale of its remaining shares should allow the bank to finally be released from its shackles. And, although the sale itself could in theory drag on the stock, the discount for retail investors and the incentive to hold for a year mean that any short term selling will be limited. With interest rates set to rise (albeit slowly) and the bank's margins likely to benefit as a result, the future for Lloyds looks bright. Overall, it's no surprise to see why Lloyds tops both the most traded table and the most held stock, too.
Starting the year at 189p, Tesco was a spectacular performer in the first quarter, soaring over 30% to reach a high of 251p in early April. However, since then, the woes of the mid-priced supermarket sector and Tesco in particular have weighed on the share - with the price tumbling back to 202p, before recent better than expected results saw the share price rally slightly. Investors have put their faith in Dave Lewis, who appears to be taking the serious decisions that were ignored in previous years, but the company still has enormous headwinds, in particular with the burgeoning discounters. Investors are being asked to be patient as the company rebuilds both its market share and its reputation - but how much time this will take and whether the company can achieve growth in sales and maintain good profit margins are key questions for investors.
Glaxo started the year in great fashion, rising 18% until mid-April, but since then the bio-tech sector has been under pressure and Glaxo is now over 2% down year to date. The Pharmaceutical and Bio-Technology sector has been a strong performer over the past couple of years, benefiting from both increased populations and demographic changes which have seen demand for health stocks soar, and also increased asset valuations for all things technology related (even peripheral ones). However, the froth appears to be subsiding for the sector and whilst the high yields for pharma stocks continue to make them an attractive option for income investors, questions remain on growth prospects - as seen by the split opinion from analysts following Glaxo with 10 rating the stock a 'hold', eight a 'sell' and seven a 'buy'.See Glaxosmithkline price information
BP has been on a roller-coaster ride year to date, with the stock boosted both by the recovery in the oil price over the first four months of the year and from bid speculation following the merger of Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group. Lower oil prices have forced energy companies to change their strategy and re-balance their approach and BP has managed this well. However, it can't escape the inevitable correlation between lower oil prices and lower margins. Over the past few weeks, oil prices have started to fall again as supply continues to outstrip demand. With Iran also sitting in the wings, hoping to negotiate their way back into the market - a deal could ultimately add up to one million barrels of oil a day of Iranian crude to the global market - this additional source could create considerable downside risk for the oil price.
Barclays finally appears to be cleaning up its act, and is gradually succeeding in shedding its reputation as the bad boy of the banking industry as it rebuilds customer trust and faith. However, investors hoping that the bank can return to the glory days, with huge investment banking profits likely to be disappointed - excess profits generated from investment banking are likely to be a thing of the past given the additional regulations and compliance restrictions that were brought in following the financial crisis. However, Barclays is a step ahead of its competitors in the technology stakes, and with more and more customers going completely online, it should benefit. In addition, as interest rates rise and banks start to deliver stable and growing dividends, their attraction as income stocks will grow and their investor base is likely to increase.
Open an account
Opening an account is easy and you will need:
- Your address details for the last three years
- Your debit card details including bank account number and sort code
- Your National Insurance (NI) number
Please be aware of the risks involved. The value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change. If in any doubt, please seek advice.
Transfer to Us
Switch your account to us today and get clear, low cost fees.