Investors in the stock market seemed to get a slow start to the holiday-shortened week, with most major market benchmarks giving up ground on Tuesday. As has often been the case lately, the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) was the exception, but the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gave up some ground on fears about the sustainability of the economic recovery.
Dow Jones Industrial
Helping to make the Nasdaq buck the trend were a couple of big-name stocks that trade on that exchange. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has soared in the past year and continued to gain ground on favorable comments from Wall Street, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) once again hit unprecedented heights as investors anxiously await the smartphone maker’s next hit release.
Moderna looks healthy
Shares of Moderna finished the day up almost 5%. The move upward came amid an expression of confidence from stock analysts at a couple different companies.
Morgan Stanley boosted its price target on Moderna substantially, kicking it up by $147. The new $337 per share target is still below where the stock trades, however, which makes the Wall Street company’s decision to leave its equal weight rating on the stock more understandable. Even if Morgan Stanley isn’t sold on Moderna’s long-term staying power, it can’t deny that Moderna could well see a lot more COVID-19 vaccine sales than previously thought if efforts to have a booster shot approved go forward successfully. Indeed, Moderna submitted new data to the European Medicines Agency late Friday to do exactly that.
Meanwhile, Brookline Capital is more optimistic. It kept a buy rating on the stock and it boosted the price target by $115, making the new figure $468 per share.
Moderna’s long-term future depends more on whether the company can bootstrap what it has learned in fighting COVID-19 into treatments for other diseases. If it can succeed with that, then the valuation it currently has could well be insufficient to measure its full potential.
Will 13 be lucky for Apple?
Shares of Apple were up 1.5% on Tuesday. If that doesn’t sound like a monster move, consider that the increase added close to $40 billion to the iPhone giant’s market capitalization — bringing it close to the $2.6 trillion mark.
Ever since Apple launched the iPhone 12, investors have wondered what the iPhone 13 will look like. On Tuesday, an end to the waiting came into sight as Apple announced an event to take place on Sept. 14. As is Apple’s standard procedure, few details were forthcoming, but most investors immediately concluded that the iPhone 13’s release will be front and center in its online presentation next Tuesday.
Apple often takes criticism for remaining as reliant as it is on hardware sales for its overall revenue. Yet the regular refreshes of the hit product have been a winning formula for more than a decade now, and it’s hard to argue with success. Despite having lower profit margins than its service offerings, iPhone sales contribute substantially to the nearly $100 billion in annual free cash flow Apple deploys for stock buybacks, dividends, and other shareholder-friendly measures.
All eyes will be on CEO Tim Cook at the event a week from now. Yet shareholders will be eyeing the stock to see if it can hit yet more all-time highs.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.
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