The major indices jumped out of the gate Monday and finished at fresh all-time highs as 2020 continues to pull every last trick from its hat before it fades into history.
This time, it was a game of “now you see it, now you don’t” with federal stimulus funds.
After creating suspense that Washington’s latest stimulus package might stall, President Donald Trump gave up his surprise protest and signed the $900 billion COVID rescue bill Sunday – mind you, after about 14 million Americans’ unemployment benefits lapsed, forcing the Labor Department to scramble to keep those people from losing a week’s worth of benefits to start the new year.
But it was more than enough to keep Wall Street juiced, including many of its largest members: Apple (AAPL, +3.6%), Amazon.com (AMZN, +3.5%), Disney (DIS, +3.0%) and Facebook (FB, +3.6%) all put up robust gains Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.7% to 30,403), S&P 500 (+0.9% to 3,735) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.7% to 12,899) all advanced to record closes.
Other action in the stock market today:
Video: Cramer on volatile Monday session (CNBC)
- The small-cap Russell 2000 declined 0.4% to 1,996.
- U.S. crude oil futures dipped 1.3% to settle at $47.62 per barrel.
- Gold futures slipped 0.1% to $1,880.40 per ounce.
Tech: Still a Good Bet in 2021?
The technology sector, which has heated up of late, is on pace to finish 2020 as the year’s best sector by far. At 42% gains year-to-date, it’s 15.4 percentage points ahead of the second-place consumer discretionary sector.
While that has resulted in some truly paunchy valuations, and while many analysts are calling for a rotation into value and cyclical sectors in the year to come, many pros are still bullish on technology as we head into 2021.
LPL Financial, for instance, says in its 2021 outlook that “we view technology companies as big beneficiaries of a split Congress, as the regulatory environment was expected to be much tougher in a Democratic-sweep scenario.”
If you believe technology still has room to run but want to hedge your bets a little, you can always focus on funds. These 15 technology-specific ETFs help spread out the risk, or you could take it a step further with funds invested in the Nasdaq-100 – a tech-heavy index that also has some exposure to other sectors such as communications and consumer stocks.
But if you want to generate serious outperformance in the high-growth tech sector and can shoulder the risk, individual stocks remain the way to go. We’ve recently picked the pros’ brains for their top 2021 tech picks, and the result is this list of 15 of the highest-ranked technology plays on the market. Discover what makes each of them stand out, even after many have already rocketed higher in 2020.
Kyle Woodley was long AMZN as of this writing.