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Nasdaq Hits 3rd Straight Record as Tesla Tops $1,500 and Zoom Zooms to New Highs

By Dan Caplinger – Jul 10, 2020 at 4:37PM

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The index is where all the top stocks seem to be lately.

The stock market has posted an amazing rebound from its March lows, but the real standout among major market benchmarks has been the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.14%). On Friday, the index closed at a record high for the third straight day, buoyed by enthusiasm about the U.S. economy's ability to overcome even a troubling rise in COVID-19 cases. Both the Composite and the Nasdaq 100 Index were up between 0.5% and 1%.

Tesla (TSLA 1.19%) and Zoom Video Communications (ZM -1.16%) have been among the top performers in the stock market lately, and today both companies saw their stocks move to new record levels. For Tesla, momentum seems to be unstoppable right now, even as short-sellers remain skeptical of the electric vehicle maker's prospects. Zoom, meanwhile, saw more modest gains on Friday, but investors have high hopes for even more from the video collaboration specialist in the weeks ahead.

Tesla's in the fast lane

Shares of Tesla jumped 10% on Friday, adding to their amazing run recently. The stock has climbed more than 50% just since June 29, and investors think that there could be even more gains ahead.

Looming in the immediate future for Tesla is an invitation to join the S&P 500 Index. With the company having surpassed market capitalization and trading requirements long ago, the only remaining hurdle for Tesla to overcome was posting four quarters of positive earnings. That was apparently a close call in the second quarter, but investors seem confident that Tesla managed to get the job done.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk standing on a stage holding a microphone, in front of a backdrop with a Tesla logo on it.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Image source: Tesla.

In addition, CEO Elon Musk tossed out a tidbit for his fans to ponder. Tesla hopes to start producing vehicles in the German capital of Berlin in the next year, and Musk suggested that the company might consider future vehicle designs for production there that better fit the profile for European city streets.

Tesla isn't the only stock seeing momentum-driven gains right now, but it's among the highest-profile stocks doing so. With so many people wanting to bet against Musk and Tesla, high short interest also leaves open the possibility of short squeezes that could help amplify any good news.

New heights for Zoom

Meanwhile, Zoom Video Communications saw its stock rise 2%. The video conferencing platform provider continues to benefit from trends requiring remote workplace collaboration, and continued difficulties with COVID-19 could make its software even more important for enterprise customers willing to pay up for top quality.

News earlier in the week showed that Zoom is trying to remove all obstacles from would-be clients looking to start using its service. The company will work to provide essential video equipment on a lease basis, dubbing the concept "hardware-as-a-service" and making it more financially feasible for small and mid-sized businesses to take their use of Zoom to the next level.

Yet what investors seem truly excited about is how quickly Zoom has been able to grow in recent months. It won't be until early September before shareholders get another full quarterly report, but Zoom has been good about releasing interim numbers when it achieves key milestones.

It's definitely the case that hundreds of millions of people are using Zoom who didn't just months ago. If even a small fraction of them stay on to become paying customers, then the bump in revenue stands a chance of justifying even the huge gains the tech stock  has already seen.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla and Zoom Video Communications and recommends the following options: short August 2020 $130 calls on Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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