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The 10 biggest winners in the S&P 500 this year were led by an oil giant Warren Buffett owns. The top stocks saw a combined $357 billion increase in market value.

Warren Buffett at the University of Nebraska-LincolnWarren Buffett

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Despite a big down year for stocks, a handful of names managed to print huge gains in 2022.
  • Oil stocks dominated the S&P 500’s top 10 winners this year as commodity prices spiked.
  • These are the index’s 10 best performing stocks in 2022, which added a combined $357 billion in market value.

2022 was a tough year for most stock market investors, with the S&P 500 finishing the year down 20% as inflation and higher interest rates dragged down investor sentiment.

But there were still some big winners in 2022, mainly in the energy sector as higher commodity prices sparked by Russia’s war against Ukraine led to record profits for oil companies like Exxon Mobil and others.

One investor who won big was billionaire Warren Buffett, as his Berkshire Hathaway built a substantial stake throughout 2022 in the S&P 500’s best performer: Occidental Petroleum. Buffett also owns a stake in Chevron, which was the 17th best S&P 500 performer in 2022 with a gain of about 50%.

The energy sector finished the year up 56%, making it the only one to print positive gains for the year. Meanwhile, about 70% of S&P 500 companies logged negative returns, making it all the more impressive for energy stocks to post such massive gains.

Combined, the top 10 performing S&P 500 stocks in 2022 added a total of $357 billion in market value. That pales in comparison to the $1.6 trillion in market value erased by the S&P 500’s top 10 losers, which included Tesla, Meta Platforms, and PayPal, among others.

These were the 10 top performing S&P 500 companies in 2022.

10. Valero Energy

FILE PHOTO: A Valero Energy Corp. gas station is pictured in El Cajon, California, U.S., August 8, 2017.   REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: Valero Gas Station in California

Reuters

Ticker: VLO
2022 Return: 68.1%
Market Value Gained: $18.1 billion

9. Halliburton

Oil pumps at sunset, industrial oil pumps equipment.

Getty Images

Ticker: HAL
2022 Return: 70.0%
Market Value Gained: $15.0 billion

8. First Solar 

solar panelSolar system installer Thomas Bywater adjusts new solar panels on the roof of a house in Sydney, August 19, 2009.

REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

Ticker: FSLR
2022 Return: 70.7%
Market Value Gained: $6.4 billion

7. APA

oil pumps drillA general view of the Russia’s oil major LUKOIL oil refinery near the town of Kagalym in western Siberia, July 7, 2004 in this file photo.

REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

Ticker: APA
2022 Return: 70.7%
Market Value Gained: $5.6 billion

6. Schlumberger

FILE PHOTO - The exterior of a Schlumberger Corporation building is pictured in West Houston January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Richard CarsonThe exterior of a Schlumberger Corporation building is pictured in West Houston

Reuters

Ticker: SLB
2022 Return: 76.7%
Market Value Gained: $33.5 billion

5. Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil gas station

Carlos Jasso/Reuters

Ticker: XOM
2022 Return: 78.5%
Market Value Gained: $192.8 billion

4. Marathon Petroleum

Marathon gas station on May 22, 2014 in Chicago, IllinoisMarathon gas station in Chicago in 2014.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ticker: MPC
2022 Return: 81.6%
Market Value Gained: $20.8 billion

3. Hess 

Customers wait in line for fuel at a Hess gas station in Brooklyn, New York November 9, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidCustomers wait in line for fuel at a Hess gas station in Brooklyn

Thomson Reuters

Ticker: HES
2022 Return: 90.3%
Market Value Gained: $20.6 billion

2. Constellation Energy 

nuclear power plant

(Photo by Armin Weigel/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Ticker: CEG
2022 Return: 106.6%
Market Value Gained: $14.2 billion

1. Occidental Petroleum

occidental petroleumOil rig pumpjacks, also known as thirsty birds, extract crude from the Wilmington Field oil deposits area where Tidelands Oil Production Company, which is owned by Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy), operates near Long Beach, California July 30, 2013. Occidental Petroleum posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, hurt by lower oil prices in the Middle East and North Africa, where the fourth-largest U.S. oil company is considering an exit.

REUTERS/David McNew

Ticker: OXY
2022 Return: 114.8%
Market Value Gained: $29.8 billion

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