Monday was a turbulent day for the stock market, as participants anticipated the opening of earnings season with mixed feelings. Financial stocks weighed on the overall market, and with major banks to be among the first to release their earnings this week, many investors seem nervous about just how hard the coronavirus pandemic might hurt them. Yet optimism about tech stocks ruled the day, and that helped the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) post gains even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) lost ground.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change (Decline)

Point Change 

Dow

(1.39%)

(329)

S&P 500

(1.01%)

(28)

Nasdaq Composite

0.48%

39

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Among the big winners today were Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON), both of which posted double-digit percentage gains. Beyond the fact that both companies make things that have wheels, Tesla and Peloton might not have a huge amount in common, yet they both had investors thinking more highly of their prospects.

Tesla hits the gas

Shares of Tesla were higher by 14%, extending their rally from last week. The electric vehicle maker has seen renewed confidence from its investors, and that's leading some on Wall Street to start paying even closer attention to Tesla than they normally do.

Dark-colored Tesla Model 3 sedan on a road, with picturesque rolling hills in background.

Image source: Tesla.

CEO Elon Musk did his part to keep people excited about Tesla, commenting that he's likely to talk extensively about battery technology when his company makes an upcoming presentation to analysts. Most of Tesla's biggest proponents highlight the fact that the company's prospects go far beyond the electric vehicle industry. Advances in batteries could have applications for countless industries, especially those for which energy storage could provide crucial benefits.

At the same time, some analysts didn't choose to wait for the Tesla presentation. Oppenheimer set a new price target of $684 per share, boosting revenue projections in light of the automaker's strong delivery figures for the first quarter. Yet even its analysts would've been surprised at today's move, given that they expected resistance for the stock at $610 per share.

The big question facing Tesla is whether its core customers will remain financially willing and able to keep supporting the carmaker with future purchases. Increasingly, those following the stock believe the answer is yes. And new technology could give even more reasons to feel bullish about the company.

Riding hard

Elsewhere, Peloton Interactive saw its stock rise 12%. The interactive cycling and treadmill equipment maker has seen mixed moves during the pandemic, but today's gain shows the higher hopes that bullish investors have for the company.

At first glance, Peloton would seem like a natural play right now. Letting people exercise at home is a big draw for many who've lost access to their neighborhood gyms and fitness centers, and Peloton's equipment does exactly that while offering the ability to share the experience with friends and instructors.

Yet the company has faced some coronavirus issues of its own. One of its production studio employees tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the closure of its New York facility. That could stop live workout classes for a while, and that's been one of the company's biggest draws among fitness fans.

Peloton's fortunes might rest on how it handles the situation and treats its customers. Extended trials and favorable terms on membership fees are smart moves, but the company will also have to keep having people buying its equipment to maximize its growth potential.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.