stocks

Stock Market Today: Coronavirus Woes Keep Piling Up on the Dow

Continued spikes in COVID-19 caseloads and other troubling coronavirus-linked news weighed on the Dow yet again Friday.

Stocks closed out the week with another up-and-down day of trading, yet again influenced by more discouraging developments on the COVID-19 front.

Florida and Arizona both announced record increases in cases Friday, and California registered its highest daily case number on Thursday, the same day the state made mask-wearing mandatory in many public settings.

"Almost half of all states have seen accelerating case growth over the last couple weeks, including some large states, including Texas, Florida, and California," Deutsche Bank Research analysts wrote Friday in a note to clients. "Some of the increase in new cases is certainly due to a ramp up in testing, but this is not the whole story. Thirteen states are seeing an increase in the share of tests that are coming back positive, including several states that are of most concern, including Arizona, Florida, and Texas, among others. Other states with climbing cases, including California, have experienced only modest decline in test positivity rates.

"As a result, deteriorating trends in many of the states that are in focus reflect greater spread not simply more testing."

COVID concerns slipped into single-stock performance, too. Apple (AAPL) slipped 0.6% as it announced it would be re-closing 11 stores across four states. Meanwhile, cruise operators Royal Caribbean (RCL, -6.9%) and Carnival (CCL, -5.3%) dropped after the major cruise lines announced they would keep operations out of U.S. ports suspended until Sept. 15.

The glut of bad news sent the Dow 0.8% lower to 25,871. The S&P 500 (3,097) and small-cap Russell 2000 (1,418) each declined by 0.6%. The Nasdaq, however, managed to squeeze out a 3-point gain to 9,946.

As we head into the weekend, investors might want to devote a little time to digging beneath the surface.

The headlines have been flush with mega-cap tech stocks grinding out small wins, as well as big industrial and consumer names getting rattled by recent coronavirus unease. But beneath the surface are blooming trends and high-flying plays that simply don't get much airtime.

Everyone knows broadly that biotech is a great place to find potential-packed stocks, but many stocks have gotten overlooked by investors focused on the race for a COVID cure – these 7 growthy biotechs are still worthy of note, however. Investors also are increasingly coming around to plays that meet and exceed environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards, but how familiar are you with the funds that hold them? These 15 funds allow you to "responsibly invest" across a number of themes.

And in general, a look around the mid- and small-cap space will reveal fascinating snap-back and growth stories that simply don't get a lot of press because the companies involved are too small (or boring) to be noticed. But that's OK. These 19 stocks don't necessarily need to make headlines to pay off for investors who give them the time of day.

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