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Just 20 Stocks Have Driven S&P 500 Returns So Far in 2023

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Top 20 Stocks Drive Most of S&P 500 Returns

Just 20 Stocks Have Driven Most of S&P 500 Returns

Just 20 firms—mainly AI-related stocks—are propping up the S&P 500 and driving it into positive territory, signaling growing risk in the market.

The above graphic from Truman Du shows which stocks are making up the vast majority of S&P 500 returns amid AI market euphoria and broader market headwinds.

Big Tech Stock Rally

Tech and AI stocks have soared as ChatGPT became a household name in 2023.

The below table shows data from last month, highlighting that just a small collection of companies drove most of the action on the U.S. benchmark index.

Company RankNameContribution to S&P 500 ReturnAverage Weight
1Apple1.49%6.61%
2Microsoft1.15%5.72%
3NVIDIA 1.00%1.62%
4Meta0.66%1.15%
5Amazon0.51%2.56%
6Tesla0.50%1.39%
7Alphabet (Class A Shares)0.34%1.72%
8Alphabet (Class C Shares)0.31%1.53%
9Salesforce0.19%0.51%
10Advanced Micro Devices0.16%0.39%
11General Electric0.10%0.28%
12Visa0.10%1.08%
13Broadcom0.09%0.73%
14Intel0.09%0.35%
15Walt Disney0.08%0.55%
16Booking Holdings0.07%0.28%
17Exxon Mobil0.06%1.37%
18Netflix0.06%0.44%
19Oracle0.06%0.40%
20Adobe0.06%0.49%
Top 20 Companies7.05%29.17%
S&P 500*7.55%100.00%

*Based on the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF as of April 11, 2023. Source: Vanguard S&P500 ETF, Bloomberg.

Microsoft invested $10 billion into OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT. It has also integrated generative AI into its search engine Bing. This large language model is designed specifically to make search capabilities faster, generate text, and perform other automations.

Also of interest is NVIDIA, which is the most valuable chipmaker in America. It sells $10,000 chips called A100s that allow machine learning models to run. These models perform multiple tasks simultaneously to develop neural networks and train AI systems, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Companies that are developing AI-related services, such as chatbots or image generation, may use up to thousands of these chips.

Despite being the world’s most valuable company and a key driver of returns, Apple is an outlier among tech giants with no major projects announced in AI (so far).

Implications of Market Divergence

The problem with the strong gains seen in a few select AI-related stocks is that it clouds wider stock market performance.

Without the AI-led rally, the S&P 500 would be returning -1.4%. as of May 17, 2023.

This form of steep divergence, known as market breadth, often signals higher risk in the market.

When more companies experience positive returns it is less risky than a small handful seeing the majority of the gains. Today market breadth is very narrow, and these companies make up over 29% of the entire index’s market capitalization.

How long AI-related firms mask the broader performance of the S&P 500 remains to be seen. A growing number of market pressures, from higher interest rates to banking uncertainty could add further challenges.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Visualizing Microsoft’s Revenue, by Product Line

This graphic breaks down Microsoft’s revenue by segment—from cloud office software to AI search engine capabilities in 2023.

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Visualizing Microsoft’s Revenue, by Product Line

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Over the last decade, Microsoft’s revenue has more than doubled, driven by key product lines like its intelligent cloud infrastructure.

Adding to this, Microsoft launched its AI-enabled search engine, Copilot last year, which has already generated $12 billion for the company. Beyond this search engine, Microsoft is developing a range of AI-based services, such as Azure Arc, a cloud computing platform with 18,000 customers.

This graphic breaks down Microsoft’s revenue in 2023, based on data from Affinity powered by Syntax.

Microsoft’s Most Lucrative Business Segments

In 2023, Microsoft revenues soared to a record $211 billion as demand for AI services accelerated.

As one of the world’s largest companies by market cap, Microsoft reached a $2.8 trillion valuation as investors flocked to big tech and AI-related stocks last year. Amid strong growth, here’s how much revenue was generated from Microsoft’s product lines in 2023:

Product LIneFY2023 Revenue Share of Revenue
Cloud Computing Services$80B38%
Cloud Office Suite Software$49B23%
Operating Systems$22B10%
Gaming Consoles$15B7%
Employment Listing Platform$15B7%
AI-Enabled Search Engine$12B6%
Other$19B9%
Total Revenue$211B100%

Comprising 38% of total revenues in 2023, Microsoft’s cloud computing services segment earns more than any other by a long shot.

These intelligent cloud services provide the servers, storage, and data centers that enable businesses to run websites and other computing services without the need for buying individual hardware and software.

The second-highest revenue driver was cloud office suite software, with sales of Microsoft 365 bringing in $49 billion in revenue.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s gaming consoles segment pulled in $15 billion in one of its best years ever. In 2023, the company acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, known for World of Warcraft and Call of Duty. It was the company’s biggest acquisition in its history.

Falling after gaming revenues is Copilot, its AI-enabled search engine, making up 6% of 2023 revenues. This productivity tool can be embedded into Microsoft 365, allowing companies to use natural language prompts to gain data on their company, summarize insights from meetings, and a host of other functions.

As AI-related services continue to gain momentum, it remains to be seen whether Microsft’s revenue will continue to see strong growth. So far, investor optimism has remained elevated.

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