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Nasdaq Falls Again; Peloton Gives Up Post-Earnings Gains; PayPal Moves Lower

By Dan Caplinger - Sep 11, 2020 at 5:15PM

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The benchmark didn't go into the weekend with strong momentum.

The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 2.09%) has been the leader in the stock market's big rally since March. Unfortunately, it's also proven to be the leader in the recent pullback. The index has fallen more than its peers, and on Friday, the Nasdaq lost ground even as the Dow and S&P gained ground.

Most of the big-name tech players that make up the biggest weightings in the Nasdaq saw their share prices decline on Friday. Particularly notable, though, were Peloton Interactive (PTON 13.60%) and PayPal Holdings (PYPL 2.01%). The way their shares behaved was indicative of some of the challenges facing the entire Nasdaq right now.

Peloton pedals backward

Shares of Peloton Holdings finished down more than 4% on Friday. That would have been disappointing in any event, but the worst of it was that Peloton had been up as much as 12% earlier in the session on optimism about the stationary bike and treadmill maker's most recent quarterly earnings.

Person lifting weight in front of Peloton treadmill, with fitness instructor on screen.

Image source: Peloton Interactive.

Peloton's numbers were all very impressive. Sales in the fiscal fourth quarter jumped 172% to finish above the $600 million mark, closing a fiscal year in which revenue doubled. Peloton delivered 76.8 million connected fitness workouts, more than quadruple its year-ago figure. Churn rates remained low, and Peloton ended the period with more than 3 million total members. The company also earned a profit for the first time.

Yet the rally in Peloton shares proved short-lived, perhaps because of concerns about the extent to which the stock has already moved higher. Share prices had risen by nearly 50% between late August and earlier this week. Some concluded that the stock had already been priced in, in the strong quarterly results.

Looking ahead, Peloton has addressed some of its price-point challenges, with plans to release a mix of high-end models and more affordable products. That could bring more people into the Peloton world, and the more it can grow its subscriber base, the more recurring revenue the bike maker can count on going forward.

PayPal sinks

PayPal Holdings also found itself on the short end of the market stick, falling more than 3% Friday. The payment network fintech giant  has also seen big success so far in 2020, so the mild decline today didn't take much away from its stock's recent strong returns.

PayPal's long-term gains certainly seem justified. Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, PayPal had already secured strong growth as more consumers embraced electronic payment methods. The company was also focused on maximizing its growth opportunities, with moves like taking a stake in Latin American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre (MELI 4.71%).

Since COVID-19, PayPal has had even greater chances to expand. More people are shopping online, making PayPal a natural choice. The company has seen that impact in its core business, with its Venmo person-to-person mobile payment app seeing particularly strong adoption in recent months.

Yet with the stock market coming under pressure, even solid companies can see their share prices fall. That doesn't detract from their fundamental promise, and investors would be well-advised to take a closer look at PayPal and Peloton if their declines become big enough to offer an amazing bargain opportunity.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MercadoLibre, PayPal Holdings, and Peloton Interactive and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

PayPal Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
PYPL
$101.10 (2.01%) $1.99
Peloton Interactive, Inc. Stock Quote
Peloton Interactive, Inc.
PTON
$13.53 (13.60%) $1.62
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
^IXIC
$13,047.19 (2.09%) $267.27
Mercadolibre, Inc. Stock Quote
Mercadolibre, Inc.
MELI
$1,081.08 (4.71%) $48.61

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

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