Stock Market Today: U.S. in Recession, But Nasdaq Sets New High

Apple, Amazon notch new records in rally; Boeing leads Dow to sixth consecutive gain

(Image credit: Felix MAckel)

A year of bizarre market juxtapositions continued on Monday as the Nasdaq set new all-time highs on the same day America learned it is officially in a recession.

This morning, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – an American nonprofit that acts as the official arbiter of recessions and recoveries – said the U.S. economy entered a recession in February, marking the organization's fastest such declaration.

But, yet again, Wall Street looked not at the gloomy rear-view mirror, but instead toward brighter hopes for the future. On the same day that hard-hit New York City began rolling back its coronavirus-prompted restrictions, the Dow registered its sixth consecutive advance – a 1.7% gain to 27,572, led once more by Boeing (BA (opens in new tab), +12.2%).

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The S&P 500 finished up 1.2% to 3,232 to enter positive territory for the year. And Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab), +0.6%) and Amazon.com (AMZN (opens in new tab), +1.7%) notched record closes to lead the tech-heavy Nasdaq (+1.1% to 9,924) to a new all-time high, eclipsing its previous bull-market high set on Feb. 19.

Don't ignore the realities of this recession. Tens of millions of Americans remain out of work, scores of small businesses are struggling, and corporate America isn't done shedding jobs yet. Oil giant BP (BP (opens in new tab)) just announced it will cut 10,000 workers, some of whom are U.S.-based, and several airlines have suggested they'll have to lay off employees or trim wages in the coming months.

In other words, brush up on what there is to know about recessions, and also consider stocks that should fare well under recessionary or otherwise poor economic conditions.

Also, don't ignore good deals where you can find them. The market's rapid rebound has wiped away many stock bargains in a hurry, but investors still can find several retirement-focused picks trading at decent prices. These aren't the once-in-a-lifetime steals they might have been in March, but they still offer attractive entry points and much-better-than-average yields.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.