Stock Market Today 9/25/20: Stocks Win the Session but Lose the Week on Growth Fears

The market ended a choppy week of trading with gains, but the Dow and S&P 500 fell on a weekly basis yet again.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

All three major indexes closed a choppy week of trading with gains on Friday, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 still logged a weekly loss for the fourth consecutive week.

Friday's session was defined, in part, by more mixed economic data. Core capital orders increased by more than forecast, but growth in durable goods orders rose less than expected. Altogether the data did nothing to reassure a market that's concerned about a slowing recovery amid waning federal financial help for businesses and the unemployed.

"Risk assets remained stable following the economic releases as last month’s readings were revised upwards, but cyclical assets continue to experience bouts of selling due to the growing global economic worries," Gorilla Trades notes.

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Against that backdrop, tech stocks once again took center stage as investors scramble for growth in a recessionary environment, with Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL) and (CRM) being among the Dow's top gainers. For the record, the blue-chip average rose 359 points, or 1.3%, to finish at 27,174.

The usual anxieties surrounding the imminent end of fiscal stimulus, a mixed economic picture and rising COVID-19 cases will likely take center stage next week, as the corporate earnings calendar is pretty light. Highlights include a report from Micron Technology (MU) on Tuesday, and results from Pepsico (PEP) Thursday.

Other action in the market today:

  • The Nasdaq Composite gained 2.3% to close at 10,913.
  • The S&P 500 added 1.6% to finish at 3,298.
  • The small-cap Russell 2000 closed up 1.6% at 1,474.
  • Boeing (BA) shares rose 6.9% on news that the European regulatory ban on the 737 MAX jet could be lifted in November.

Keep an Open Mind About Under-the-Radar Tech Stocks

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, tech stocks have been a safe haven in an otherwise tough market and look poised for more outperformance ahead.

Indeed, tech is one of the few sectors expected to report revenue growth for the third quarter. When investors think of tech stocks, no doubt their minds go to well-known tech behemoths in the Dow and other mega-players such as Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL), (AMZN) and Facebook (FB). But as remunerative -- and popular -- as those names may be, they represent only a part of the tech landscape.

For example, as much as they might offer exposure to Artificial Intelligence, there are a host of ways to make cheap, concentrated bets on AI through exchange-traded funds. The same goes for investors looking to benefit from the rollout of 5G networks or the rapid growth of cloud computing.

Lastly, there are plenty of smaller, under-the-radar tech names set for outsized growth as they cater to the latest trends. These stocks might be relatively anonymous, but that doesn't mean they can't generate returns like the big boys.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate, cost of living indexes and more.