You Owe Your S&P 500 Gains to Nvidia

NVDA accounts for a third of this year’s return in the index.

sumit
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Senior ETF Analyst
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin

If you own the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) you owe nearly a third of your gains to one stock. 

Of SPY’s 8.4% return so far this year, 2.7 of those percentage points come from Nvidia’s 87% surge. That means that a single stock accounts for around a third of the S&P 500’s gain. 

While certainly an eyebrow-raising statistic, it’s not unprecedented to see a single stock drive so much of the index’s return. 

In 2023, Microsoft accounted for 3.4 percentage points of the S&P 500’s 26.2% return. In 2021, the same stock accounted for 2.8 percentage points of the index’s 28.7% return. 

Meanwhile, in 2020 and 2019, Apple contributed 3.9 and 2.8 percentage points, respectively, to the S&P 500’s 18.4% and 31.3% returns. 

That single stocks have accounted for so much of the S&P 500’s performance in recent years reflects the huge weightings that these stocks have in the index.  

When a stock represents 5% of the index, just a 10% move in either direction can drive a half a percentage point change in the level of the index.  

When those same stocks move 20%, 30%, or even more as they’ve done in recent years, the impact can be much larger.  

NVDA Stock Risk, S&P 500 Weighting

There’s been a lot of talk about the parabolic ascent of Nvidia and how it’s a risk to the market given how the stock represents over 5% of the S&P 500.  

While a Nvidia crash could certainly have broader implications for the stock market by bringing down other tech stocks, on its own, even a halving of Nvidia would only shave roughly 2.5 percentage points off the S&P 500.  

That’s not small by any means, but it’s also something that—if it were to happen—probably wouldn’t take place overnight, giving other stocks an opportunity to compensate for it. 

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.