Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: Tesla, Tech Lift Stocks After Rocky Open

Tesla popped amid a filing suggesting another stock split; gains in mega-cap technology names also helped carry the major indexes.

The market got off to a disorganized start to the week, but one that still saw the major indexes finish in positive territory.

Tesla (TSLA, +8.0%) had an outsized say in the market's performance Monday, jumping out of the gate after the company filed for its second stock split since 2020. Technology (+1.2%) also did some of the lifting, with names such as Adobe (ADBE, +4.3%) and Intuit (INTU, +4.6%) propelling the sector.

Financials (-0.3%) balked, however, as U.S. Treasury yield curves continued to flatten.

"The five-year vs. 30-year briefly inverted for the first time since 2006, and the two-year vs. 10-year spread was below 10 basis points earlier," says Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange. (A basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point.) A reminder: In the past, an inverted 2-10 yield curve has been a fairly reliable predictor of a coming recession.

And energy (-2.5%) sagged as a worsening COVID outbreak in China exacerbated demand concerns and knocked U.S. crude oil prices 7.0% lower, to $105.96 per barrel.

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While stocks largely opened in the red, they recovered in the afternoon to post lumpy gains. The Nasdaq Composite improved by 1.3% to 14,354, the S&P 500 rose a more modest 0.7% to 4,575, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to eke out a 0.3% gain to 34,955.

stock chart for 032822

YCharts

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 finished virtually flat at 2,078.
  • Gold futures lost 0.7% to settle at $1,939.80 an ounce.
  • Bitcoin rocketed 7.9% over the weekend to $47,979.80. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)
  • Coinbase Global (COIN) was a big winner today, advancing 7.9%. In addition to rising Bitcoin prices, shares of the cryptocurrency exchange got a lift on news it is in talks to by 2TM – the owner of Brazil's biggest crypto exchange, Mercado Bitcoin. According to reports, sources familiar to the matter say that talks between the two firms started in 2021 and a potential deal could be confirmed by as early as next month. 
  • Concerns over red-hot inflation prompted RBC analyst Nik Mondi to downgrade Campbell Soup (CPB, -0.9%) to Sector Perform from Outperform, the equivalents of Hold and Buy, respectively. The analyst expects cost pressures to linger into next year and prefers exposure to reopening stocks versus those with a focus on cooking from home.

Make Volatility Work for You

Volatility has been the name of the game for most of 2022, and interest rate drama is another reason it's likely to continue.

"The yield curve is powerful, and – at the very least – is signaling a cooling economy," says Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at research firm Baird. "Volatility should remain heightened and the bar for investing success is raised."

That's anathema to many investors, who have been conditioned to mentally link volatility with danger to the point where low-volatility funds have become a popular hidey-hole.

But for active or tactical investors and traders, volatility can cut both ways – and indeed, rather than trying to fade market turbulence, it can pay to lean into it.

High-volatility stocks very well might be among some of your portfolio's most problematic holdings during a down market, but they're also more likely to be among your top performers whenever the major indexes swing back higher. Today, we've taken a glimpse into the market's recent rockiness and found 20 picks that boast not just high recent volatility, but high quality (as measured by Wall Street's favorable opinions on these stocks).

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