It’s Groundhog Day all over again for these stocks

Bill Murray runs through the snow in a scene from the film 'Groundhog Day', 1993.

If things feel familiar in the markets, it’s because they are. Between repeating business cycles and the never-ending calendar of earnings announcements, it’s easy to feel caught in a monotonous loop of economic stagnation and sinking oil prices.

For some major stocks, like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and AT&T, Groundhog Day is often a reality. These stocks tend to repeat their performance day in and day out, more so than other companies, as examined since Groundhog Day in 2015.

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First, we looked at the daily change in price for stocks on the S&P 500. Some stocks had volatile weeks and other, more steady weeks. Then we focused on variation between daily returns by looking at the daily change in the change of the stock price — so the measurement looks at how similar a day’s returns were to the day before, regardless of whether the price went up or down.

Here are the Groundhog Day stocks.

These are all pretty old companies — almost all founded in the 1800s. Only Pepco Holdings was founded in this century, as a holding company formed in 2001 with the merger of two older utility companies.

Precision Castparts can probably attribute some of its steady trading to its acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway that was announced in August. Precision stock jumped 20 percent on the news and the transaction was finalized in January. The price stayed a little under the announced per-share buy price for about six months.

We also looked at the stocks that had many days with a very small change in daily return from the day before. That is, of the 250 trading days between Groundhog Day 2015 and the end of January 2016, how many days were those returns nearly exactly the same as the day before (within 0.1 percentage point)?

It turns out some of the list looks pretty similar.

Precision and Pepco top that list with 55 and 41 days with a change-in-change of less that 0.1 percent, respectively. There’s also Bank of New York Mellon, AT&T and PPG Industries. PepsiCo is No. 6.