Stock Market Today: Amazon.com Goes Gonzo, Nasdaq Sets New High

Amazon.com (AMZN) and Tesla (TSLA) sprinted to large gains Monday, launching the Nasdaq to fresh highs and putting the S&P 500 above breakeven for 2020.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A number of market darlings that had taken a breather over the past week roared to life in Monday's trading.

Amazon.com (AMZN (opens in new tab), +7.9%) snapped a five-day losing streak after analysts from Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and MKM Partners reiterated their Buy ratings and upped their 12-month price targets on the stock. GS and Jefferies now both see Amazon hitting $3,800 per share, which would be another 19% upside from here. Specifically, Goldman sees AMZN stock getting to that target on the back of "accelerating ecommerce growth."

Technology stocks, which were last week's worst-performing sector after greatly outpacing the market the rest of the year, jumped 2.5% thanks to sharp advances from the likes of Microsoft (MSFT (opens in new tab), +4.3%) and Adobe (ADBE (opens in new tab), +5.3%).

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And overall, the market was able to brush past continued rising COVID-19 caseloads in a number of Sun Belt states, which could act as a hurdle for the country's economic recovery.

"The new wave of the pandemic is likely to slow the improvement in the labor market and last week saw the first increase in non-seasonally adjusted US initial claims since April 4," UBS analysts wrote in a Monday morning note. "Looking across the states we found there was a ~30% correlation in the growth rate of initial claims with the acceleration in new Covid cases per capita. Initial claims in states that are no longer seeing the surge in infections – NY, NJ, CT, MA – were all down."

The Nasdaq fully shook out of its recent underperformance funk, with the tech-heavy composite finishing 2.5% higher to a record 10,767. The S&P 500 closed with a 0.8% gain to 3,251, putting it in positive year-to-date territory for the first time since Feb. 21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed a more modest 8 points higher to 26,680. And the Russell 2000 ended Monday's trade down 0.4% to 1,467.

Can Tesla, EV Makers Keep Up the Pace?

Also bursting higher Monday was Tesla (TSLA (opens in new tab), +9.5%), which could bring a new level of legitimacy to the EV market.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote Monday that he believes the electric vehicle maker, due to report Q2 earnings after Wednesday's close, will announce a profit. That in turn should help its case for eventual S&P 500 inclusion – something he says is "already considered a fait accompli among the bulls."

While 2020 has been peppered with outstanding performances in emerging technologies (think artificial intelligence stocks and e-commerce plays), the small but exploding electric vehicle industry has gone simply gangbusters.

If you're not familiar with the industry past Tesla, that's understandable; there are few publicly traded "pure play" EV companies, and most of them are small. But if you want to get up to speed, read on as we introduce you to six electric vehicle companies – which are averaging 215% gains this year – that every investor should know.

Just know what you're getting into, which is a potentially bumpy ride. Thanks to these boffo gains, valuations have shot into the stratosphere.

Wedbush's Ives writes about Tesla: "This quarter is another step forward in the Tesla story as Musk & Co. must deliver to match euphoric Street expectations baked into the stock." Similar sentiment about the other EV players abounds.

Kyle Woodley was long AMZN and MSFT as of this writing.

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.