The stock market got off to a strong start on Monday, and unlike what we've seen a lot recently, the gains were broad-based across nearly all of it. Investors seemed pleased with apparent progress in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, although some skeptics argued that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of a plasma-based treatment for the disease needed further study. Just before 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 255 points to 28,156. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) rose 23 points to 3,420, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) picked up 33 points to 11,345.
With the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both trading at record levels, most investors are already quite familiar with the big-name, trillion-dollar companies that have spurred so much of the bullish sentiment on Wall Street. However, a company doesn't have to have a 10-figure market cap to be a big winner. Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON) have both more than doubled so far in 2020, and each has succeeded by giving its customers what they needed most: solutions for dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
Taking retailers online
Shares of Shopify have soared more than 150% in 2020, even with Monday morning's 3% drop taking the share price back below the $1,000 mark. The Ottawa-based tech company has already become the largest business in Canada, and it's taking the world by storm at exactly the right time.
Shopify makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to build an internet presence. Whether you're a small business looking to get online for the first time or a larger company with greater needs, Shopify has a wide variety of services to help you boost your business.
At a time when many businesses were on the brink of failure because of coronavirus-related forced closures of store locations, Shopify gave those businesses a lifeline with its essential e-commerce services. Shopify made it possible for mom-and-pop stores to make the transition online, and that's been increasingly instrumental in keeping many businesses afloat that would otherwise have failed.
What's good for its clients has been good for Shopify as well, and its stock price increase reflects the stronger sales that the company has enjoyed. Even with the stock already having enjoyed big returns, there's still plenty of growth left for Shopify's future.
Pedaling through the pack
Peloton's gains aren't quite as large, but a 139% return in 2020 is still impressive. The maker of stationary bikes and treadmills has always offered a premium experience for exercise fans, but the pandemic made Peloton the only game in town for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Gyms and fitness centers were among the first businesses to close in the wake of COVID-19, and they've been slow to reopen amid successive waves of outbreaks. Many customers are still nervous about returning to the gym, worried about whether high levels of physical exertion in enclosed spaces will be safe even with ordinary precautions. For those who can afford it, the appeal of working out at home remains undeniable.
Peloton's interactive system makes home workouts more of an experience, as you can exercise as part of online classes that are connected together by the company's platform. Even as competitors try to duplicate the experience, Peloton is making its play as first mover to retain its advantages.
Peloton equipment isn't cheap, and neither is its stock. However, if it can hold onto its new customers for the long run, then Peloton's share price should be able to keep climbing.