The fifty are credited with propelling the bull market of the early 1970s. Most are still solid performers, although a few are now defunct or otherwise worthless.
The long bear market of the 1970s that lasted until 1982 caused valuations of the nifty fifty to fall to low levels along with the rest of the market, with most of these stocks under-performing the broader market averages. A notable exception was Wal-Mart, the best performing stock on the list, with a 29.65% compounded annualized return over a 29-year period.
Because of the under-performance of most of the nifty fifty list, it is often cited as an example of unrealistic investor expectations for growth stocks. However, those who held on until the late 1990s bull market saw many of the stocks return to correct valuations.
The stocks were often described as "one-decision", as they were viewed as extremely stable, even over long periods of time.
The most common characteristic by the constituents were solid earnings growth for which these stocks were assigned extraordinary high price-earnings ratios. Fifty times earnings was not uncommon.
NIFTY means National Index for Fifty.
NYSE Nifty Fifty constituents
- Note: There is no official version of companies composing the list.
- American Home Products
- AMP Inc.
- Avon Products
- Baxter International
- Black & Decker
- Burroughs Corporation
- The Coca-Cola Company
- Digital Equipment Corporation
- Dow Chemical
- Eastman Kodak
- Eli Lilly and Company
- Emery Air Freight
- First National City Bank
- General Electric
- International Flavors and Fragrances
- International Telephone and Telegraph
- Johnson & Johnson
- Louisiana Land & Exploration
- Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M)
- Merck & Co.
- MGIC Investment Corporation
- Philip Morris Cos.
- Procter & Gamble
- Schering Plough
- Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company
- Sears, Roebuck and Company
- Simplicity Pattern
- S.S. Kresge
- Texas Instruments
- The Walt Disney Company
- Fesenmaier, Jeff; Smith, Gary. "The Nifty-Fifty Re-Revisited". Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- Siegel, Jeremy. "Valuing Growth Stocks: Revisiting the Nifty-Fifty". Retrieved 2012-02-05.