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Stock Market Wrap-Up: Why Tesla and Nordic American Tankers Soared Today

By Dan Caplinger - Apr 27, 2020 at 5:25PM

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Stocks started the week higher on hopes for a brighter future.

The stock market got a nice boost to begin the week, with market participants looking at the potential positives from expected moves to reopen businesses in several states across the U.S. in the near future. The coronavirus pandemic is far from under control at this point, but investors are already looking past the crisis and its inevitable aftershocks to try to capitalize on future opportunities. Gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.00%), S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.05%), and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) amounted to between 1% and 2%.

Today's stock market


Percentage Change

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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

As nice as the gains were across Wall Street, some stocks saw even bigger moves. Tesla (TSLA 1.24%) hit the gas on news that could help it come closer to meeting its target for the year, while Nordic American Tankers (NAT -2.82%) was one of many companies in its industry to take advantage of what's happening in the oil markets.

Tesla wants to get back to work

Shares of Tesla climbed more than 10%, adding to gains from last week. The electric vehicle maker is hell-bent on sustaining its upward momentum in deliveries, and it's pulling out all the stops to try to keep production levels as stable as possible even in the face of coronavirus-related pressures.

Tesla is looking at bringing back some of its workers to its vehicle assembly facility in Fremont, California this week, according to reports over the weekend. Auto industry watchers were pleased to see some signs that at least some aspects of production might finally come back on line, especially with Detroit's legacy automakers seeing their factories remain idled.

The move comes despite ongoing stay-at-home guidance from state and local governments in California. Tesla had said that it planned to wait until after the initial expiration of Bay Area shelter-in-place orders on May 3. In light of expectations that those orders could get extended further into May, however, it's unclear what Tesla will do with its full workforce in the Golden State.

Investors have bid the stock back up toward levels from before the pandemic hit, but a lot will depend on Tesla's ability to avoid disappointing its loyal customers. Add the potential for conflict with government entities, and Tesla looks like it'll remain just as exciting a story as ever.

Red tanker ship on a sunny day with slightly choppy seas.

Image source: Getty Images.

Filling up on Texas tea

Meanwhile, in the oil patch, shares of Nordic American Tankers continued their recent ascent. Today's gains added another 23% to the stock price, which has doubled just since April 13.

Nordic operates a fleet of tanker ships that transport crude oil around the globe, and it's just one of several stocks in its industry to gain ground today. The gains were tied to the oil market, where near-month futures contracts fell more than $4 per barrel to drop below the $13 per barrel level. Meanwhile, declines in later-month futures saw less extreme declines, widening the spread between June and September futures to more than $11 per barrel.

Spreads of that size make it profitable for oil traders to take delivery on crude, store it, and then deliver it back in the future. However, traditional oil storage is near capacity, and that's leading some enterprising trades to charter tanker vessels like Nordic American's for temporary oil storage.

It's unlikely that these conditions will last forever, and that makes the current environment one in which Nordic and its peers want to take advantage while they can. For an industry used to volatility, though, oil tanker stocks hope that disruptions in the oil market last as long as possible.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$681.79 (1.24%) $8.37
Nordic American Tankers Limited Stock Quote
Nordic American Tankers Limited
$2.07 (-2.82%) $0.06
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$30,775.43 (0.00%) $0.00
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,825.33 (1.05%) $39.95
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
$11,028.74 (0.00%) $0.00

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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