Diagnose the Dow: Results!

The results of the Diagnose the Dow stock-picking contest are in! Who picked the healthiest stocks and will walk away with an iPad?

Physician’s Money Digest held its second stock-picking contest in the beginning of 2012. The prize for the contest winner was an iPad, and four runners up won $50 Amex gift cards. The contest ran for eight weeks, with a total of 1,479 transactions made.

The contestants had $100,000 in virtual funds to spend on the stocks of their choosing. In order to be eligible to win, contestants had to be holding five stocks and spent as much of their funds as possible by the time the markets closed on April 27, 2012.

It was a difficult time to predict the stock markets, which started the year strong, but had a string of tough sessions in April. The end of the contest also fell during a turbulent time with earnings reports coming out for the first quarter of 2012. However, it was also during a time when anticipation for the ASCO conference could run stocks up.

In the second week of the contest derrickdchan shot up to first place and held that lead by a pretty sizable margin for the next month. However, JMueksch overtook derrickdchan about halfway through and then never lost the lead for the remainder of the contest.

JMueksch made big gains from shorting Rigel Pharmaceuticals and buying Pozen, Targacept and Sunshine Heart.

With JMueksch firmly in first, the fiercest battle took place for the rest of the top five, which would determine who the gift card winners were. A new addition to the contest, apat, made all of his profits from Human Genome Sciences, Inc., while the rest of the stocks apat’s portfolio all lost money. Initially, apat slid into second place with less than two weeks left, bumping the former contest leader to third. However, derrickdchan managed to squeak back into second in the last minutes of the contest.

The participants in fourth and fifth had been in constant fluctuation between a number of contests. Tfazmd, AlanShotzbarger, coloradojack, beavtori and gloriamarty all spent time in or very close to the top five.

Proving how fickle the markets can be, more than once participants who had lingered at the top of the list for weeks found themselves plummeting down the rankings all because their stocks suffered heavy losses. For instance, while JMueksch profited off Rigel by shorting the company, keningsberg dropped out of the top 10 on big losses from the pharmaceutical company.

Here are our big winners:

iPad winner

JMueksch

Open positions at contest end: Merck & Co.; GlaxoSmithKline; Astrazeneca; Eli Lilly & Co.; and Pfizer

Gain: 21.92%

Portfolio value: $121,915.48

$50 Amex Gift Cards

Derrickdchan

Gain: 16.17%

Portfolio value: $116,167.50

Apat

Gain: 16.05%

Portfolio value: $116,050.97

Coloradojack

Gain: 14.35%

Portfolio value: $114,349.33

Beavtori

Gain: 12.14%

Portfolio value: $112,140.54