stocks

Stock Market Today: Apple, Amazon Spearhead a Wild Tech Rally

Sharp gains in Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) on Columbus Day helped push the major indices closer to all-time highs.

Investors continued to hold out hope for an additional federal stimulus package Monday even after the weekend saw both parties rip the White House's $1.8 trillion counteroffer, with Senate Republicans calling the amount too much and Democrats decrying it as too little. But stocks nonetheless headed higher on the back of a massive push from a few tech stocks.

Helping the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advance 2.6%, to 11,876, was a 6.4% gain in Apple (AAPL), which will unveil its new iPhones on Tuesday.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who rates the stock at Outperform, makes a compelling bull case.

"In what we would characterize as Apple's most important product cycle since the iPhone 6 in 2014, this week Cupertino officially unveils its iPhone 12 product lineup virtually on Tuesday kicking off its iPhone 5G supercycle." says Ives, who calls Apple his favorite 5G stock. "In particular we are seeing Apple and its Asian suppliers anticipate stepped-up demand for the larger 6.7-inch model which is raising the overall iPhone 12 expectations heading into this 'once in a decade' potential launch."

Dow component Microsoft (MSFT, +2.6%), which reported it foiled a plan to hack America's election infrastructure, also helped lift the broader indices.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.9% to 28,837.
  • The S&P 500 gained 1.6% to 3,534.
  • The Russell 2000 improved by 0.7% to 1,648.

All Eyes on Amazon

Also making hay was Amazon.com (AMZN, +4.8%), which roared ahead of its two-day Amazon Prime Day event that begins Tuesday.

While e-commerce stocks in general remain a potent source of potential growth, no company has the clout of Amazon, which has created its own shopping holiday out of thin air.

Consumers can learn everything they need to know about this year's Prime Day event here, but, from an investing standpoint, just know that analysts see 2020's Prime Day as pivotal, for multiple reasons.

"This year's event likely takes on its greatest significance yet, as the lockdown spurs further acceleration in e-commerce growth amid the underlying secular shifts," writes CFRA's Tuna Amobi (Buy), who adds that this year's edition "could eclipse the ensuing Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales combined."

Also, note the timing: Prime Day, which usually occurs during summer, was pushed back several months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's now much closer to the traditional holiday shopping season – a period many retail experts already expected would expand even earlier this year to maximize sales.

That's a potential threat to several other retail stocks, some of whom are taking the fight to Amazon with their own competing events. Read on as we look at some well-known retail stocks that investors should watch carefully, especially over the next few days, as Amazon continues to try to swallow the industry whole.

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

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