The floor of the New York Stock Exchange after a day of trading. Photo: USA Today

This year has been a great year for the stock market. The S & P 500 is an index that tracks the performance of 500 major companies. Since the start of 2021, the S & P 500 has risen over 27% signifying that the market as a whole has grown significantly. Many stocks have had slow, but steady growth this year while some have had record-breaking days.

Companies such as AMC and GameStop profited heavily with backing from Reddit and other social platforms. Very early this year, a share of GameStop (GME) cost around $40. In a matter of a week, a share of GME skyrocketed to around $350 essentially making 9 times the initial investment. The reason this stock grew so significantly is because of the backing from countless Reddit users and influencers, such as Elon Musk. Reddit users wanted to target short-sellers and they all decided to invest in GameStop making the price grow very rapidly. Musk tweeted, “Gamestonk!!”. This tweet only made people want to increase the price even more. Another stock that also grew because of social media was AMC. AMC did not grow as much, but at the beginning of the year, a share cost around $2. It steadily increased, but in June, it hit a high of $72. These two stocks saw extreme growth this year because of social media and the backing of influencers. 

Other stocks that were very profitable this year include Moderna (MRNA) and Pfizer (PFE). These stocks grew with the COVID-19 vaccine because the vaccine was profitable for these companies. An investor who bought Moderna stock at the beginning of the year would have doubled their money and someone who bought Pfizer would have made around 50% profit. With a heavy reliance on the vaccine, the future for these two companies is in question.

Another company whose stock made many people money is Tesla (TSLA). With the rental car service Hertz announcing that they would incorporate Teslas into their fleet, Tesla’s stock grew. Their CEO,  Musk became the richest man in the world by net worth and the company is still growing. Over the year, Tesla’s stock grew about 25%. It started at around $800 and is now around $1,000. Many new electric vehicle companies are starting to compete with Tesla, so whether Tesla will have another great year is a hot topic.


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