When you hear market leaders, it probably conjures up images of Amazon, Facebook, and Google, to name a few of the FANG stocks. But what if we told you that two of the top performers in the Dow Jones index year-to-date aren’t technology at all but instead American Express and Visa, which are dividend stocks that have gained more than 30 percent each year-to-date. Not to be outdone, Microsoft and Apple are also up roughly the same so far this year.
To be fair, both financials and technology stocks are getting hit pretty hard in the trade-war fueled stock market downturn, but not all of the gains have been erased. In fact, the Dow Jones remains only about 5 percent from its peak, which isn’t too shabby considering the talk about an economic recession. If things continue to worsen, the bottom could still fall out. But for now, investors can thank strong consumers – who continue to spend money – for holding up the economy while the trade war rages on.
Speaking of finance and tech, American Express and Visa will soon have to contend with a newcomer to the credit card space – Apple, which incidentally is another Dow Jones stock. The tech giant has partnered with Goldman Sachs and Visa rival Mastercard for a tech-savvy version of a credit card that’s expected to make its debut sometime in August, according to Business Insider . The Apple card has all the features you would expect from the maker of the iPhone, including a virtual version that lets users pay with the iPhone mobile wallet. So for those consumers who don’t have a problem trusting big tech with your financial details, the Apple card could be a thorn in the side of traditional credit card issuers including American Express and Visa.
Visa CEO Al Kelly recently told CNBC h e remains “cautiously optimistic” about the U.S. economy.
Kelly isn’t deterred by the Apple card, instead opting to take the high road and pointing to the company’s “great brand.”
“The little I’ve seen of it, it’s quite cool…They’ve got a loyal following of customers. Those customers will vote by getting the card and using the card over time. So I think it’s a little too early to tell just how successful it will be, but Apple is a good brand and a good marketer.”
Similar to Apple, Visa and American Express also have significant exposure to China, so as long as the trade war lingers, the gains that these Dow Jones stocks have seen year-to-date could dwindle.