Stock Market Today: Nasdaq Rolls, S&P Still Can't Catch the Bull

Tesla (TSLA) and Nvidia (NVDA) helped pushed the Nasdaq to new highs Monday, but the S&P 500, while up, couldn't get over the record hump.

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Amid little traction on a new round of federal economic stimulus, the more diverse blue-chip indices struggled to make hay Monday while the tech-heavy Nasdaq resumed its leadership role.

The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.0% higher to a record 11,129. It received help from Nvidia (NVDA (opens in new tab), +6.7%), which jumped after a Susquehanna analyst raised his price target from $450 per share to $540. It also got a boost from Tesla (TSLA (opens in new tab), +11.2%), which is up a staggering 33% since Aug. 11, when the EV maker announced it would split its stock 5-for-1.

Joe Duran, head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, says tech valuations might be somewhat stretched, but they're mostly justified by the fundamentals.

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"Investors will likely continue to assign a premium to companies that are perceived to be most insulated from the potential risks to the U.S. economic recovery," he says. "The low interest rate environment also generally supports a high valuation premium for secular growth companies.

"We maintain our overweight recommendation within Information Technology, which has strong secular growth prospects, 'quality' attributes, and trades at valuations that are in line with fundamentals – the types of stocks that the near-term uncertainties around the US outlook and the risk of longer-term economic consequences should continue to favor.

The rest of the major indices finished with more modest results. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to 3,381 but remained 5 points shy of its all-time high, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.3% to 27,844. The small-cap Russell 2000 improved by 0.4% to 1,584.

Warren Buffett's Busy Second Quarter

Buffett-ologists, rejoice: Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B (opens in new tab)) latest buys and sells have been made public.

Investors routinely flip through the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio for insights, given the stellar long-term success of its CEO, Warren Buffett. And his holding company's recent 13F filing with the SEC shows that the Oracle of Omaha kept himself busy with a couple dozen moves throughout the second quarter.

Buffett completely exited several stakes and started a new position connected to gold – an asset that has delivered electric returns in 2020, but also an asset that he has publicly maligned several times over the years.

"I would rather trust in the intrinsic value of a bunch of really fine businesses run by good managers selling products that people like to buy and have liked to buy for a long time, and then exchanging their future efforts, the money that comes from their wages, for See's Candy or Coca-Cola or whatever, than take some piece of metal that people dig out of the ground in South Africa and then put back in the ground at Fort Knox, you know, after transporting it and insuring it and everything else," Buffett said at the 2000 annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting.

If you're curious about the legendary investor's most recent comings and goings, including his $5 billion-plus bet on himself, read on as we break down what Warren Buffett was buying during the second quarter.

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.