Stock Market Today: Trillion-Dollar Tesla Leads Monday Market Charge

The Dow and S&P 500 notched new highs, while the Nasdaq moved within a chip-shot of its all-time peak.

tesla sign and car
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index got the ball rolling on the new trading week with record-high closes amid general earnings optimism.

But the showstopper today was a single stock – Tesla (TSLA (opens in new tab), +12.7%) – which extended its recent rally with a number of significant milestones. Rental car company Hertz Global Holdings (HTZZ (opens in new tab), +10.0%) on Monday announced the single-biggest order for electric vehicles – 100,000 Tesla vehicles, which should translate into more than $4 billion in revenues.

That continued a rally recently built on record third-quarter deliveries and blowout Q3 earnings, sending Tesla above $1,000 per share – and above $1 trillion in market value, putting it in an exclusive club with just four other companies: Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab)), Microsoft (MSFT (opens in new tab)), Alphabet (GOOGL (opens in new tab)) and Amazon.com (AMZN (opens in new tab)).

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Tesla's booming performance helped lift the Nasdaq Composite 0.9% to 15,226; the index needs a gain of just 1% from here to reach its Sept. 7 high. TSLA also boosted the S&P 500, up 0.5% to a record 4,566. The Dow's modest 0.2% gain to 35,741 was enough to rewrite the record books, too.

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stock price chart 102521

(Image credit: YCharts)

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 rose 0.9% to 2,312.
  • U.S. crude oil futures settled unchanged on the day at $83.76 per barrel.
  • Gold futures gained 0.6% to finish at $1,806.80 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) retreated 1.2% to 15.24.
  • Bakkt Holdings (BKKT (opens in new tab), +234.4%) stock was one of the biggest percentage gainers today after the cryptocurrency asset platform and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE (opens in new tab)) subsidiary unveiled a pair of high-profile partnerships. One is a deal with Mastercard (MA (opens in new tab)), where the two firms will offer cryptocurrency debit and credit cards. This will not only allow businesses to issue branded credit cards backed by crypto, but also offer digital coins as rewards in loyalty programs. BKKT also entered into a strategic partnership with Fiserv (FISV (opens in new tab)) that will allow cryptocurrency to be used more broadly thanks to the fintech's ability to connect consumers and businesses via its digital commerce and mobile payment services.
  • Bitcoin prices jumped 2.9% to $62,716.48. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • Looking ahead, earnings season continues, with several massive stocks reporting results over the next few days, including the other members of the trillion-dollar club. Michael Reinking, senior market Strategist for the New York Stock Exchange, says that, as far as an impact on the major indexes is concerned, "mega-cap tech will be the swing factor."

Stock Picking Isn't For Everyone

Does that sort of news – even when it's good – give you heartburn? That's okay: Stock picking isn't for everyone.

Don't take it just at our word – consider that U.S. investors alone have allocated tens of trillions of dollars to mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), closed-end funds (CEFs) and other pooled investments. And many of those investors want talented stock pickers on their side.

Enter Fidelity, which celebrates good stock picking – in fact, its portfolio managers even engage in friendly competitions with each other to see who can develop the best investment ideas.

We continue our annual look at the most popular funds in 401(k) plans – which we started with Vanguard – by taking a look at Fidelity's actively managed and target-date funds that make the list. This group of more than a dozen funds largely leans on the expertise of talented stock pickers including Sonu Kalra and Joel Tillinghast, though their gifted bond managers provide some oomph to Fidelity's balanced offerings. Read on as we explore the ins and outs of Fidelity funds that often show up in corporate 401(k) plans.

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.