Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: New Week, New Highs for Stocks

The passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill kept the stock market rally moving Monday, albeit with modest gains.

A downright persistent market rally kept its mojo into a new week, with the major indexes again making a slow grind upward to all-time highs Monday.

Helping fuel the optimism was a final push in Washington to get an infrastructure bill across the finish line. Late Friday, the House sent the $1.2 trillion piece of legislation to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law soon.

"[The bill] represents the largest public works investment in the U.S. in nearly a decade, and would bring about an additional $555 billion in new infrastructure projects that were not planned for by states and municipalities," says Jeff Spiegel, head of U.S. iShares Megatrend and International ETFs.

A few other pieces of news moved the needle, too. The U.S. ended its international travel ban, providing a lift to a number of travel stocks. Also, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, +10.1%) broke out to new highs after landing Facebook parent Meta Platforms (FB, -0.7%) as a customer; that move sent most of the semiconductor industry higher in sympathy, including rival Nvidia (NVDA, +3.6%).

The major indexes didn't move much – the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 36,432, the Russell 2000 improved 0.2% to 2,442, and the S&P 500 (4,701) and Nasdaq Composite (15,982) made marginal advances. However, they all managed to scratch out fresh record closing highs.

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stock chart for 110821

YCharts

Other news in the stock market today:

  • Following a down week, U.S. crude futures kicked off Monday with a 0.8% improvement to $81.93.
  • Gold futures were also higher, settling up 1.3% to $1,816.80 per ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) improved to start the week, gaining 4.3% to 17.20.
  • Bitcoin surged 8.1% over the weekend to $66,093.98, nearing its all-time high of 66,974.77. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • Tesla (TSLA, -4.9%) was on the decline after CEO Elon Musk seemingly committed to selling a hefty sum of shares. This weekend, in response to a Democratic billionaire tax proposal on unrealized gains (one that didn't make it into a bill), Musk conducted a poll asking his followers whether he should sell 10% of his TSLA shares, and a majority of his followers said he should. "Either way, it was well known that Musk had a big tax bill coming due from his 23 million stock options awarded in 2012 that have vested and expire in August 2022 and he was going to sell some stock before year-end," says Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who rates TSLA at Outperform. But it might be much ado about nothing. Ives called it a "digestible number we are not overly concerned about, but added that "holding a Twitter poll to sell 10% of his stock is another bizarre soap opera that can only happen to one company and one CEO in the world: Musk."
  • Ford (F) shares improved by another 4.5% on no particular news, extending its year-to-date rally to roughly 130%. The automaker is now trading above $20 per share for the first time in more than 20 years. Jefferies analysts Philippe Houchois and Himanshu Agarwal (Buy) recently sounded off on the stock, saying, "Presenting good numbers helped of course, but we found Ford management on the call more in control of operations and strategy than any time in the past two years despite industry uncertainty. Ford is early in an intense cycle of replacing and reviving key product franchise and playing to brand strengths with FordPro."

How to Play the Infrastructure Deal

While Wall Street has largely bet on an infrastructure bill passing at some point, at some time, opportunities still abound – including in not-so-traditional infrastructure plays.

"The bipartisan infrastructure bill will be a huge boost to the ongoing renewable energy and 5G revolutions," says Josh Duitz, deputy head of equities and manager of the Aberdeen Standard Global Infrastructure Income Fund (ASGI). "We expect both these areas to create investment opportunities moving forward as we transition toward a carbon-neutral economy and enhance our broadband capabilities."

That could mean a new burst of excitement for 5G-related stocks, not to mention continued business uptake for clean energy stocks.

But largely speaking, this is a win for infrastructure stocks of all types, including traditional industrial and materials plays.

"The infrastructure package includes $579 billion of future incremental federal spending, which amounts to $974 billion of total infrastructure spending over five years and $1.2 trillion over eight years," says a team of Stifel analysts. "Of the incremental $579 billion, $312 billion is expected to be spent on transportation of which $109B is earmarked for roads, bridges and major projects. Other transportation spending includes public transit, rail, EV infrastructure (half EV chargers), airports and ports, among other categories.

"There is also $266 billion of other infrastructure spending including investments in water, broadband and the grid."

For a wide variety of ways to invest in this new spending glut, check out our updated list of infrastructure stocks poised to benefit.

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