Bay Area tech stocks surge during 2016

SAN JOSE — Bay Area technology stocks and two energy giants surged in 2016 — a year that could be described as a tale of two stock markets.


Buoyed by generally rosy prospects as well as consolidation among chipmakers, Santa Clara-based Nvidia was the big winner among the major publicly held technology companies in the Bay Area. Nvidia tripled its stock price during 2016, soaring 223.9 percent.

San Ramon-based Chevron returned to profitability in its third quarter. Its stock surged, fueled by purchases from enthusiastic investors who helped the company become the top performer among the five largest non-tech stocks.

Chevron’s shares jumped 30.8 percent during 2016, as its fortunes gyrated along with crude oil prices and the company’s prospects for its major new energy fields in places such as Australia and the Gulf of Mexico’s deep waters.

Yet perhaps the most dramatic trend in the stock market emerged after an Election Night upset by real estate mogul Donald Trump, who beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a surprise victory to become president-elect.

“It was a terrible start to the year, and it would have been a pretty flat year except for the election of Donald J. Trump,” said Jeffrey Elfont, president of Walnut Creek-based Pinnacle Asset Management, an investment firm.

Through the afternoon of the election, the Dow had risen in 2016 by a respectable but ordinary 5.3 percent. But in the weeks that followed, the Dow has zoomed higher by 7.8 percent. Or, put another way, the Dow…

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