US Nasdaq index recovers all of 2020's losses triggered by Covid-19

Gains from the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft boosted the index as it turned positive

The technology-heavy Nasdaq index turned positive for 2020 on Thursday, boosted by gains in the share prices of companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix, which have fared well during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The US index caught up all this year’s losses, taking it back to its level at the beginning of January, after rising 1.4% on Thursday to 8,979.66. It ended last year at 8,972.

The Nasdaq fell sharply as coronavirus spread around the world, but it has now shrugged off that setback. Marios Hadjikyriacos, an analyst at the currency firm XM, said investors were rushing into “giant tech names that are considered more resilient”.

The FAANGM stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Microsoft – were all up on Thursday. Nexflix is up 32% this year, Amazon is 25% ahead and Microsoft has gained 14%, while Apple has gained 1%, Facebook is up 1% and Alphabet is 0.1% ahead.

It is the first time one of the world’s major stock markets has turned positive since the pandemic led to many countries going into some form of lockdown.

Many people have been working from home, communicating via social media and shopping online, boosting demand for the products and services provided by the FAANGM companies. Amazon in particular has enjoyed a sales boom, with revenues up 26% to $75bn in the first quarter of 2020, equivalent to more than $33m an hour.

Joshua Mahony, a senior market analyst at the trading platform IG, said: “The nature of this current crisis has leaned heavily on to technological solutions to everyday activities, with the prospect of an increasingly digital marketplace and workplace ensuring optimism for those tech stocks within the Nasdaq index.”

But he said the tech outperformance was likely to change “when we see normality resume due to a vaccine, with traders jumping on those currently depressed sectors such as travel”.

The Dow Jones also rose on Thursday, up more than 400 points or 1.8% at one point, amid hopes that the US economy may reopen soon. The latest jobs data showed another 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, taking the total to more than 33 million in the past seven weeks.

However, investors took comfort from the fact that the pace of layoffs in the world’s largest economy had slowed.

Contributor

Julia Kollewe

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Google, Apple and Microsoft report record-breaking profits
‘Perfect positive storm’ for big tech as pandemic fuels huge quarterly sales and stock market gains

Rupert Neate and Dominic Rushe

27, Jul, 2021 @8:54 PM

Article image
New study deems Amazon worst for 'aggressive' tax avoidance
Transparency campaign Fair Tax Mark says big six tech firms have paid a fraction of headline tax rate for 10 years

Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent

02, Dec, 2019 @6:01 AM

Article image
Tech firms lift US stock markets to record highs
No end in sight for the new dotcom boom as Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft shares soar after results are better than expected

Nick Fletcher

27, Oct, 2017 @5:18 PM

Article image
Is big tech now just too big to stomach?
The Covid crisis has turbo-charged profits and share prices. But are the big six now too powerful for regulators to ignore?

Jasper Jolly

06, Feb, 2021 @8:00 AM

Article image
Tech shares keep sinking amid concerns sector is slowing
Nasdaq falls in early trading after sinking 1.8% on Friday, with analysts expecting continued uncertainty

Dominic Rushe in New York and agencies

12, Jun, 2017 @4:33 PM

Article image
Apple leads race to become world's first $1tn company
Tech giants likely to pass record valuation if share price rises echo 2017 performance with Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook in with a chance

Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent

03, Jan, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
US stock markets drop as tech companies lead losses
China trade war fears rattle investors and downfall of Carlos Ghosn hits Nissan and Renault shares

Dominic Rushe and wires

19, Nov, 2018 @9:31 PM

Article image
Google owner Alphabet becomes trillion-dollar company
Tech giant is the fourth US firm to achieve the valuation – after Microsoft, Apple and Amazon

Kalyeena Makortoff

17, Jan, 2020 @9:41 AM

Article image
‘Silicon Six’ tech giants accused of inflating tax payments by almost $100bn
Study claims firms paid $96bn less in tax between 2011 and 2020 than the notional figures cited in their annual reports

Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent

31, May, 2021 @7:01 AM

Article image
Tech giants power record surge in renewable energy sales
Amount of clean energy bought by companies triples in two years, with Google biggest buyer

Jillian Ambrose

28, Jan, 2020 @2:03 PM