Markets

Stock Market Today: Nasdaq's 5-Day Win Streak Snapped

A broad-market downturn Tuesday ended the Nasdaq's five-day win streak and sent economically sensitive industries to deep losses.

Wall Street’s underlying worries about the resilience of the economic recovery were given room to roam Tuesday thanks to a dearth of significant new positive data.

COVID-related hospitalizations are rising across much of the Sun Belt, and yesterday once again saw a new record rolling seven-day average of daily new cases. That caused economically sensitive stocks such as American Airlines (AAL, -7.0%) and Carnival (CCL, -6.6%) to lead the market lower today.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finally suffered a loss after five consecutive up days, closing 0.9% lower to 10,343. The S&P 500 dipped 1.1% to 3,145, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the worst of the major blue-chip indices, closing 1.5% down to 25,890. The small-cap Russell 2000 declined 1.9% to finish Tuesday's session at 1,416.

There were a handful of bright spots, however.

Walmart (WMT, +6.8%), for instance, leaped on news that it will launch an Amazon Prime competitor subscription service later this month for $98 annually. The service reportedly will include perks such as same-day grocery delivery and discounts on fuel.

And Novavax (NVAX, +31.6%) roared ahead after announcing the federal government is awarding the biotech company $1.6 billion to help speed up development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A Sideways Summer?

Every rally needs the occasional breather, and there’s little in Tuesday’s pause to signal deeper declines ahead. But some on Wall Street are increasingly of the mind that we could be in for a sideways summer following Q2’s rapid stock-market recovery and amid a batch of fresh question marks about America’s ability to fend off the coronavirus.

The fall elections could be trouble, too.

“Markets tend to be volatile ahead of elections because of the uncertainty around possible policy changes,” Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial, writes in a recent note. "In this election, the stakes are particularly high for corporate America because a takeover of the Senate by Democrats and a possible Biden victory reportedly may lead to an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and unwind the corporate earnings boost the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act delivered."

Investors looking to dampen at least a little of the volatility until the next bull run can find strength in numbers; after all, 100 stocks are far less likely to take you on a wild ride than one.

You can get that kind of diversification for dirt cheap via these eight low-cost index funds. And you can’t really have a discussion about inexpensive market exposure without mentioning Vanguard, which has a number of indexed and active products alike to help you harness the market’s next leg up.

However, if you’re looking to get tactical, explore the many actively managed options from Fidelity. The fund provider offers many options that tap into growth, whether it’s in U.S. large caps, lesser-known small firms or corporations across the globe. Here, we explore 15 noteworthy Fidelity mutual funds with no minimum investment requirement:

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