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Nasdaq Closes at New High on Mega-Cap Interest

Investors entered the week stoked, sending market indexes into the green early Monday, and never looked back. Despite various levers of concern that may be pulled — a falling-out over congressional lawmaking to provide economic aid to those affected by the ongoing pandemic, the coronavirus case levels continuing to tick up ever higher, etc. — a trust in the backstopping of the markets by the Federal Reserve has put the proof to the maxim “Don’t Fight the Fed.”

The Dow finished up 0.9% or 236 points; the S&P 500 climbed to within spitting distance of 3300, up 0.72% to within 3% of its all-time high; and the Nasdaq met and set a new all-time closing high, +157 points, +1.47%, to 10,902.

The key to Nasdaq strength remains the mega-cap tech names, particularly Apple AAPL and Microsoft MSFT — the former of which posted superb earnings figures last week, while talk this morning of Microsoft’s interest in obtaining wildly popular China-based video-sharing app TikTok have spurred investment interest. The app, which has been compared to the national security threat akin to Huawei in the U.S., does not have a price tag publicly attached to the deal, but its high popularity does make it an intriguing consideration for Microsoft — especially in its potential to rival Facebook FB and Alphabet’s GOOGL YouTube.

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated Take Two Interactive TTWO, a major video game developer, has far outperformed expectations on its fiscal Q1 top-line results reported after Monday’s close: $996 million in sales rocketed past the $844 million projected, which itself represented 100% growth year over year. Further, the company upped guidance for next quarter and fiscal year on its top-line: between %775-825 million for Q2 and between $2.8-2.9 billion for the full year. Shares are up 4% in late trading.

Commercial space enterprise company Virgin Galactic SPCE also put out Q2 results after Monday’s closing bell, missing the Zacks consensus by 2 cents to -30 cents per share, on revenues that are quite beside the point at this stage. This is a stock one buys on the story of its possibilities: much like SpaceX becoming the first private outer-space service company, Virgin Galactic is talking supersonic passenger jets in the future. The company announced it expects to raise $460 million on a 20 million share offer. SPCE shares are tumbling 8% in late trading.

There’s plenty more grist for the earnings mill where that came from. After Tuesday’s close, we look forward to earnings results from Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell)-rated Disney DIS and Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)-rated Activision Blizzard ATVI.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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