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S&P 500 Closes at New All-Time High

By Eric Volkman – Aug 18, 2020 at 7:44PM

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The market is proving to be very resilient to the coronavirus outbreak.

Continuing an impressive recovery from being depressed early in the coronavius pandemic, the S&P 500 index hit a new record high on Tuesday. The benchmark stock index recorded a 0.2% increase on the day to land at just under 3,390. 

Despite widespread fears of a sustained, widespread sell-off of equities, the bear market triggered by the outbreak didn't last long. The S&P 500 recorded a queasy fall from its former high-water mark (3,386.15, recorded on Feb. 19) that lasted 33 days, a relatively short stint compared to other bear markets. On March 24, the index began rising again and has generally maintained an upward trajectory.

A group of people celebrating on a mountain peak.

Image source: Getty Images.

Understandably, the more "coronavirus-proof" major companies have helped pull the index to its new peak. (AMZN -3.01%) has roared ahead by nearly 71% since March 24, as stay-in-place measures either encouraged or mandated drove the powerful retailer's sales.

Broadly speaking, the tech sector also made a major contribution to the rally, helped by the fact that many of its products and services can be consumed remotely and in isolation.

Apple (AAPL -1.51%) nearly doubled in price across the same stretch of time, advancing at an 87% clip and experiencing some notable one-day jumps along the way. During the rally, Apple split its shares 4-for-1, which might have increased the company's appeal to more budget-conscious investors.

Netflix (NFLX -4.49%) also gained for similar reasons -- albeit to a more modest degree -- as many stay-at-homes have done a lot of Netflix-and-chill these past few months. Since March 24, Netflix stock has increased by nearly 38%.

All three companies did well on the S&P's Tuesday to remember. Amazon rose by 4%, while Netflix added almost 2%, and Apple ticked up 0.8%.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, and Netflix and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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