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Nasdaq Gets Big Boost From Tesla $2,000, Zoom Record High

By Dan Caplinger – Aug 20, 2020 at 4:18PM

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Exuberance is back in the market in a big way.

The stock market has been on fire since its March lows, and so far, nothing's been able to hold back the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) for very long. After seeing a late-day reversal Wednesday afternoon, the Nasdaq had some market participants thinking that a long overdue correction might be coming. Yet that didn't last, and today, the Nasdaq led the rest of the stock market higher. The Composite and the Nasdaq 100 both rose more than 1%, outpacing other popular market measures.

Gains among the biggest tech companies in the market helped to propel the Nasdaq to new record heights again on Thursday. Yet as we've seen countless times in the past, two popular stocks -- Tesla (TSLA 0.08%) and Zoom Video Communications (ZM -4.03%) -- produced outpaced gains that showed just how strong a following the two companies have among investors.

Tesla tops $2,000 per share

Tesla shares jumped once again on Thursday, climbing more than 7%. The move took the share price above the $2,000 mark, another amazing milestone for a stock that's been unstoppable for the past year.

To put the move in perspective, Tesla topped $1,000 per share for the first time on June 10. That means in fewer than 50 trading days, the electric automaker's stock doubled.

Blue Tesla Model S on a road, with sun setting in background.

Image source: Tesla.

Trying to justify the rapid ascent has been increasingly challenging, but Fool tech expert Daniel Sparks noted this morning that the company's soon-to-be-updated Autopilot system could spur even more excitement about the cross-platform. Tesla drivers have waited a long time for the autonomous driving features of their vehicles to reach the levels that CEO Elon Musk has talked about for years. If these capabilities are finally right around the corner, then it would represent a breakthrough that's perhaps worthy of the company's valuation.

Meanwhile, every dollar that Tesla stock increases means one more dollar that investors who sell to index funds when Tesla joins the S&P 500 will get. That game could create immense volatility, but at least recently, pullbacks for Tesla shares haven't lasted long before the stock has climbed higher once again.

Zooming into the stratosphere

Meanwhile, Zoom Video Communications also saw a nice move, gaining 6%. The stock's still a long way from $2,000, but investors are similarly enthralled with the video collaboration platform provider's prospects for future growth.

Zoom did get a partial vote of confidence from Wall Street on Thursday, although it's unclear whether it really contributed to the stock's gains. Morgan Stanley expressed its belief that Zoom will report extraordinarily strong financial results for the second quarter, continuing the momentum from the first quarter of the year. Yet although a price target boost of $50 per share sounds good, the move only lifted the target to $240 -- below where the stock traded even before today's rise. Morgan Stanley also kept an equal weight rating on Zoom rather than upgrading it.

The company is also doing a good job of making itself ubiquitous. You'll be able to find Zoom on a wide variety of smart displays from the most popular sellers, making it far easier for those working from home to take advantage of the service.

Zoom is set to report earnings on Aug. 31. That's coincidentally the same day that Tesla will trade on a post-split basis. It'll be interesting to see whether Zoom's share price can close the gap and perhaps even surpass Tesla's at some point.

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

Stocks Mentioned

Tesla Stock Quote
Tesla
TSLA
$194.86 (0.08%) $0.16
Zoom Video Communications Stock Quote
Zoom Video Communications
ZM
$74.31 (-4.03%) $-3.12
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
^IXIC
$11,482.45 (%)

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

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