This year’s bear market has wiped trillions of market capitalization out of the stock market, hitting both growth and defensive stocks. However, some not only appeared intact, but even far exceeded this period. “With the S&P 500 down 20% for the year and the S&P 500 retail index down 35%, it may be hard to believe that any retail stocks are hitting all-time highs in this environment,” American analysts led by Elizabeth Suzuki , November 9 is written. But three auto parts retailers — AutoZone, Gutenuine Parts and O’Reilly Auto — beat the odds to set all-time records. according to the bank, ten trading days. According to Suzuki, the shares have risen an average of 22% over the year. “Best in Class” Of the three, Bank of America rated only one stock: O’Reilly Auto. It describes the company as a “best-in-class” auto parts retailer with sustained industry-leading sales growth. The Missouri-based company had an exceptional third-quarter earnings season, with earnings per share of $9.17, up 14% from a year ago. The company also earned $3.80 billion. USD revenue, 9% more than a year ago. Following the “strong” earnings, Bank of America raised its full-year 2022 to 2024 outlook for the company, noting that it expects “continued improvement.” November 10 O’Reilly’s stock hit a 52-week high of $848.65 in intraday trading, before rising slightly to $843.85. Shares are up more than 20% this year, but Bank of America expects the stock to do even better. The bank’s 12-month price target for the stock is $920, representing a 9% upside from its close on Nov. 10. The stock is highly favored by analysts, with 71% of those covering the stock giving it a buy rating. rating based on FactSet data. Defensive Sector One of the reasons O’Reilly has outperformed this year may be the weakening defensiveness of the auto parts sector. Bank of America sees auto aftermarket stocks as having characteristics similar to consumer staples, making the sector more defensive, citing its “needs-based nature.” “In this defensive sector, we believe a market premium is justified for companies that 1) provide services (or supply parts to professional garages), 2) consolidate a fragmented automotive aftermarket by increasing market share, and 3) have a diverse business mix.” mitigate the potential impact of temporary headwinds,” Suzuki said.