Stocks hit records as Tesla, Virgin Galactic soar

Musk's Tesla and Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket higher

U.S. equity markets rallied Wednesday helped by momentum stocks, positive housing data, and reports that the number of new coronavirus cases slowed.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hit fresh records, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average tacked on 115 points.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SP500 S&P 500 4173.85 +61.35 +1.49%
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34382.13 +360.68 +1.06%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13429.978403 +304.99 +2.32%

The momentum stocks that helped drive enthusiasm included Tesla. Those shares rallied above $900 apiece after Piper Sandler raised its price target to $928, the second-highest on Wall Street, citing its batteries and solar power business as the next big thing.

Virgin Galactic shares were higher for an eighth straight day, and are up more than 160 percent since their Oct. 28 stock-market debut. Although there is speculation that Sir Richard Branson's space travel company is undergoing a short-squeeze.

On the economic front, U.S. building permits, a sign of future demand, hit the highest level since 2007 rising 9.2 percent. While housing starts dipped slightly from December down 3.6 percent.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA, INC. 589.74 +18.05 +3.16%

As for earnings, Dish Network reported better-than-expected quarterly results as its subscriber loss slowed.

Wingstop reported digital sales soared 39 percent year over year in the fourth quarter, helping revenue top Wall Street estimates.

Meanwhile, Groupon touched a record low after reporting fourth-quarter revenue slumped 23 percent from a year ago, missing estimates, and said it is planning to exit the goods category by the end of the year.

Also hitting a record low was Blue Apron, which said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including putting itself up for sale, after posting a fourth-quarter loss of $21.9 million.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DISH DISH NETWORK CORP. 45.82 +1.20 +2.69%
WING WINGSTOP INC 136.23 +5.38 +4.11%
GPRN n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
APRN BLUE APRON HOLDINGS 4.32 +0.25 +6.14%

The latest on the coronavirus, Mainland China reported 1,749 new cases of the virus as the death toll rose by 136. There are at least 74,185 confirmed cases and 2,004 deaths, according to China’s National Health Commission.

Elsewhere, West Texas Intermediate crude spiked over 2 percent to $53.31 a barrel and gold climbed 0.5 percent to $1,607.50 an ounce, its highest in nearly seven years.


U.S. Treasurys were lower, pushing the yield on the 10-year note up to 1.564 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE jumped 1 percent while France's CAC and Germany's DAX gained 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.


Asian markets were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.9 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng higher by 0.5 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite down 0.3 percent.