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Why the Afterpay (ASX:APT) share price is not the only rising star this year

row of white eggs with cartoon sad faces with one gold egg with happy face and crown representing high performing asx share
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The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price surged higher on Monday as the Aussie tech share looks set to join the S&P/ASX 20 Index (ASX: XTL) in 2021.

Afterpay shares closed up 8.8% at $109.93 per share, 258.9% higher than where they started the year.

Most ASX investors would be familiar with the Afterpay story, but what about the other rising stars of the ASX? Let’s take a look at some of the top performers ahead of 2021.

Why the Afterpay share price isn’t the only rising star

While the Afterpay share price has grabbed many of the headlines, there have been plenty of top stocks climbing higher.

That’s been recognised in the latest ASX 20 rebalancing, with Afterpay joining Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) and Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) in the top stocks club.

It’s been a big year on the markets with the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) currently on track for one of its best quarters in the last 20 years. 

Strong iron ore prices have been supportive of the Fortescue share price in 2020. In fact, the Fortescue share price has rocketed 105.6% higher this year to a market capitalisation of $68.2 billion.

The Coles share price has jumped 21.0% higher this year to $18.18 per share on the back of strong sales and profitability.

The outlier is Aristocrat, with the Australian gambling machine manufacturer actually seeing a 12.3% decline to $30.01 per share.

The wagering sector has been hit hard by coronavirus restrictions which has reduced demand for new machines. That makes the addition of Aristocrat into the exclusive ASX 20 club a curious one.

However, that’s more to do with some of the current constituents. Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) has been turfed out of the index with a market capitalisation of $12.5 billion compared to Aristocrat’s $19.2 billion.

Foolish takeaway

It’s always worth keeping an eye on both the rising stars and “fallen angels” in an index rebalancing. That’s especially the case given the meteoric rise of Afterpay and other ASX tech shares in 2020.

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Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of COLESGROUP DEF SET. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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