Stocks Log Tumultuous Week Thanks to Big Tech

Meanwhile, stocks tied to the pandemic had an interesting week

Assistant Editor
Sep 25, 2020 at 2:30 PM
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Following the tumultuous selloff last week, stocks began the week on a grim note as the Dow in particular fell around 900 points early on Monday. Though it managed to pare some of its earlier losses, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq logged their fourth-straight. The following day saw all major indexes rise as Big Tech attempted a rally, but by mid-week, they were down once again as shares of FAANG stocks slid considerably. The flip-flopping continued into Thursday, as a plethora of economic data and additional coronavirus-related stimulus talks gave investors plenty to digest. As a result, stocks notched marginal gains. The optimism rolled into Friday though, with the Dow up triple digits, despite the three major benchmarks all eyeing a fourth-straight weekly loss.

Stocks Tied to Pandemic Make Headlines

The volatile week saw plenty of notable moves in the pandemic-related sectors. For one, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) kicked off a late-stage trial of a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, resulting in a small boost. Meanwhile, Rite Aid (RAD) announced plans to expand its coronavirus testing, which has already surpassed 300 sites.

Another company benefitting from the pandemic was FedEx (FDX), which one analyst called a "pandemic winner," and upgraded the stock to a "buy" from a "hold." Elsewhere, one blue-chip stock fell after Bloomberg reported it was in advanced talks to acquire a pharmacy startup.

Analyst Notes Pour In on Heels of Earnings Reports

The earnings docket was more full than last week, as General Mills (GIS) stock pivoted higher after easily besting Wall Street's estimates regarding the company's earnings and revenue. Additionally, Darden Restaurant (DRI) narrowly beat analysts' earnings estimates, though revenue ultimately fell short. Meanwhile, analysts were once again eager to dish out notes. Capri (CPRI) received a bull note from Morgan Stanley, while elsewhere, Illumina (ILMN) was slammed with a bear note from J.P. Morgan Securities.

More Earnings, Economic Data Coming Up

As September comes to a close, investors will have a lot to digest in the form of economic data; however, the few big companies set to report earnings may be a mere appetizer for what's to come. Most notably, the most recent gross domestic product (GDP) reading is due out on Wednesday. The latter part of the week will feature manufacturing data, as well as an update on the unemployment rate. In terms of earnings, United Natural Foods (UNFI), McCormick & Company (MKC), and PepsiCo (PEP) are just a few of the notable names set to report.

For now, head on over to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's analysis of investor optimism, and how it could lead to an underperforming market. Additionally, Senior V.P. of Research, Todd Salamone answers a particularly interesting question; are markets primed for another volatility pop? 


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