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Nasdaq Soars as Amazon Looks for Prime Win, Workhorse Raises Cash

By Dan Caplinger – Updated Oct 12, 2020 at 2:06PM

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A big rise for the tech-heavy index shows what investors want.

In 2020, the stock market has been all about the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC -0.74%). The benchmark is heavy on tech stocks, and tech has been one of the best performers all year. Regardless of whether you're talking about the biggest tech stocks in the world or the up-and-coming players in hot areas like software as a service, the Nasdaq has been the place to be lately, and it rose another 2.5% by 1 p.m. EDT Monday.

A couple of companies show just how widespread the gains on the Nasdaq are. E-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN -1.57%) was up sharply as investors anticipated a big event coming Tuesday. Meanwhile, small electric vehicle player Workhorse Group (WKHS 3.02%) made progress in gathering some much-needed capital to finance its business growth.

Think Prime

Amazon's stock was up another 5%, approaching its all-time high. The e-commerce marketplace provider is getting ready for one of its biggest shopping events of the year, and shareholders are trying to get the jump on the positive impact on the stock before it actually happens.

Boxes on conveyor belts, four side by side.

Image source: Getty Images.

Prime Day is scheduled for this Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 13 and 14. Ordinarily, Amazon would have done the Prime Day event in July, but the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges that pushed it back.

The interesting thing about the new timing is that it comes close enough to the holiday shopping season to have an influence on it, yet it's far enough before the traditional Black Friday events to maintain its separate identity. To the extent that it might pull some demand forward from late November and December, Amazon hopes that it'll make its employee experience more manageable during the often-tumultuous shopping season.

Meanwhile, if Amazon can lure more Prime memberships, it's only that much the better for its overall profit margin. By luring more customers in when they're ready to shop, Amazon is putting itself in position for some massive gains down the road as well.

Workhorse pulls more weight

Meanwhile, Workhorse Group saw its shares rise 5%. The electric truck developer continued to see its stock gain momentum from late last week, and it also managed to raise some money in the process.

Workhorse said early Monday that it had sold $200 million in four-year convertible debt to two institutional investors. The terms include 4% interest and the right to convert the notes to stock at a price of $36.14 per share. That's 35% above where the stock closed last Friday.

Workhorse intends to use the money to boost its production volume, bring new products to market, and refinance other debt at more favorable terms. Workhorse also said it had persuaded owners of $70 million in existing convertible notes to exchange them for the new issue.

Shareholders have watched Workhorse Group closely because it's looking to obtain a $6 billion contract with the U.S. Postal Service to provide electric delivery vehicles for delivering mail. Workhorse is the only all-electric company making a bid, and investors are hopeful that will give the company an edge even over rivals that have a longer history of vehicle production than Workhorse has.

Investors have been excited about renewable energy stocks, and in many ways, electric vehicle makers like Workhorse feed into that frenzy as well. Workhorse hopes it will win a big contract and secure its future for years to come.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon 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.

Stocks Mentioned Stock Quote
$94.00 (-1.57%) $-1.50
Workhorse Group Stock Quote
Workhorse Group
$2.39 (3.02%) $0.07
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
$11,397.92 (-0.74%) $-84.53

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

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