Stock Market Today: Tech, Energy Pop as Stocks Soar Into the Weekend

A tumultuous week ended on a high note as stocks ignored a lackluster April retail report and staged a broad-based rally.

Gymnast lands
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks finished the week with a raucous relief rally driven by not very much of anything.

A five-day stretch that was mostly defined by clear signs of red-hot economic recuperation closed with a relatively shrug-worthy data point Friday. Namely, retail sales, which had jumped 10.7% month-over-month in March, were flat in April, and "core" retail sales (ex-automobiles and gasoline) were actually down 1.5% month-over-month.

It wasn't all that bad. Barclays economists note that rather than a material slowing, "the move in April reflects more of a pullback after the unsustainable jump in March helped by rebate checks and fading winter-weather effects."

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Energy stocks (opens in new tab) were the best-performing sector (+3.1%) amid a nice 2.4% move higher in U.S. crude oil futures, to $65.37 per barrel. But technology and tech-esque stocks did a lot of the barking Friday.

Big moves in the likes of Nvidia (NVDA (opens in new tab), +4.2%), Facebook (FB (opens in new tab), +3.5%) and Tesla (TSLA (opens in new tab), +3.2%) sent the Nasdaq Composite 2.3% higher to 13,429. Dow Jones Industrial Average tech components such as Salesforce.com (CRM (opens in new tab), +2.7%) and Intel (INTC (opens in new tab), +2.5%) sent the index up 1.1% to 34,382. And the S&P 500 closed 1.6% higher to 4,178.

Small caps, which have struggled over the past week, also jumped to life, with the Russell 2000 advancing 2.4% to 2,224.

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Other action in the stock market today:

  • One name that didn't participate in today's broad-market rally was Walt Disney (DIS (opens in new tab), -2.6%). The entertainment giant reported first-quarter earnings that came in above estimates, but both revenues and Disney+ paid subscribers missed the mark.
  • DoorDash (DASH (opens in new tab), +22.2%), on the other hand, soared after its earnings report. The food delivery service unveiled higher-than-expected revenues for its first quarter and lifted its full-year gross orders value, which helped offset a wider-than-anticipated per-share loss.
  • Looking ahead to next week, several high-profile retail earnings (opens in new tab) will roll in, with Home Depot (HD (opens in new tab)) and Walmart (WMT (opens in new tab)) among the top ones to watch.
  • Gold futures edged up 0.8% to finish at $1,838.10 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) plunged again, off 18.7% to 18.81.
  • Bitcoin recovered partially from Thursday's deep dive, gaining 3.3% to $50,205.77. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)

stock chart for 051421

(Image credit: YCharts)

More Fuel for the Value Fire?

Friday marked a brief deviation from 2021's rotation away from growth stocks to value plays, but plenty of experts still see signs of continued performance out of value.

BCA Research and BofA Global Research are among analyst outfits that have recently pointed to more bullish signs. The latter points out that performance trends in actively managed funds suggest investors still haven't made a fully committed pivot into value – and thus there's still more money that could flow into bargain-priced stocks.

Which bargain-priced stocks?

We would answer that question by pointing you in the direction of our favorite value stocks to buy (opens in new tab) … but we'd also argue that you don't necessarily have to pick.

Value-oriented exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have gone bananas amid this monthslong rotation, and that party will likely keep raging as long as value remains in style. You can slice the value pie in myriad ways, meaning there are ETF options for investors who favor large companies, small firms, international picks and more.

Read on as we explore 10 different value ETFs and explain what they can contribute to your portfolio.

Kyle Woodley was long CRM 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.