The stock market pushed higher into record territory on Monday, bolstered by enthusiasm about the prospects for continued economic recovery and progress against the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers in Washington appeared ready to move forward with efforts to provide additional stimulus checks to Americans, further fanning bullish flames. As of noon EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.23%) had climbed 141 points to 31,289. The S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.80%) had risen 15 points to 3,901, and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 1.14%) was up 75 points to 13,931.
Stocks of companies that have recently done initial public offerings have done extremely well, as their favorable opening results have further inspired investors who got in on the ground floor. On Monday, shares of Palantir Technologies (PLTR -0.60%) and Tortoise Acquisition Corp. II (SNPR) posted significant gains as the two companies made progress toward their respective strategic goals.
Palantir's vision gets clearer
Shares of Palantir Technologies rose more than 8% on Monday at midday. The data analytics company that had its IPO last September has been shrouded in a level of secrecy, but a big strategic move has shareholders excited about its prospects.
Palantir will now work with IBM (IBM 1.71%) and join IBM's hybrid cloud data platform with Palantir's application-building operations platform. The move will strengthen the two companies' efforts to help their mutual clients build applications using artificial intelligence, using the power of IBM's popular Watson AI system to gain access to critical data insights in the hybrid cloud without extensive technical training.
The move will have dramatic implications for clients in a host of different industries. From retail and financial services to healthcare and telecommunications, businesses work hard to mine voluminous data for insights. The joint platform offering is intended to help those businesses work more effectively and efficiently.
Palantir has been working in partnership with other companies on a range of projects, such as by helping oil giant BP (BP 1.86%) with its carbon-neutral aspirations. As Palantir gets into more deals, investors are getting a clearer look at exactly what's behind the business.
Snapping up a deal
Shares of special-purpose acquisition company Tortoise Acquisition Corp. II surged 34% higher. The SPAC has been public only since November, but already it's found a merger candidate in a hot industry.
Tortoise will merge with public electric-vehicle charging infrastructure operator Volta Industries. The SPAC agreement puts an enterprise value of $1.4 billion on Volta, with institutional investors putting in $300 million of additional funding to complement the SPAC's own cash on hand. Volta intends to use $600 million to build out its charging network more quickly.
Volta's business model is an interesting one. The company gets revenue by selling advertising on display screens attached to its charging stations, often working with the businesses immediately surrounding the charger. Volta cites data that business partners are seeing better sales metrics after installing charging stations, and ads provide a stream of revenue that other charger solutions lack.
Investors have been extremely excited about EV-related stocks, and so Tortoise's success in finding another promising company in the space was well received. It'll be interesting to see how much more upside Volta has once the agreement is finalized and the SPAC merger takes place in the months ahead.