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Stock Market Today: Big Tech Carries the Market

Kyle Woodley, Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

The stock market kicked off a new week of trading by yet again bucking increasingly concerning COVID-19 headlines and finishing in the black.

Nearly half of all states, including California and Florida, are experiencing a growth in coronavirus cases as most of the country continues to push forward with staged reopenings.

"A significant portion of economic output, between one-third and one-half of national GDP, occurs in counties that are experiencing deteriorating covid-19 trends, either showing an increasing number of new cases or new deaths over the last week," write Deutsche Bank Research analysts. "This suggests that the downside risks to economic activity stemming from a resurgence in the virus remain prevalent.

And the National Association of Realtors announced a nearly 10% slump in existing-home sales in May, though the organization's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, wrote that "home sales will surely rise in the upcoming months with the economy reopening."

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Nonetheless, the market flipped from early losses Monday to swelling gains as the day went on. The Dow closed the session 0.6% higher to 26,024, helped by Apple (AAPL, +2.6%), which announced it will shift away from Intel (INTC) chips in its products and revealed new software at its WWDC 2020 event.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 1.1% to 10,056, the S&P 500 finished 0.7% higher to 3,117, and the small-cap Russell 2000 closed with a 1.1% gain to 1,433.

Monday's market strength reflected a few ongoing themes. As COVID-cautious investors continue to veer away from economically sensitive areas such as industrials and airlines, they keep piling into mega-cap tech. A decent portion of all the major blue-chip indices' gains today was attributable to both Apple and Microsoft (MSFT, +2.8%) - the market's two largest stocks, and also the pair of companies most widely beloved among the hedge-fund crowd.

Yet again, e-commerce stocks electrified, with PayPal (PYPL, +3.6%) and Shopify (SHOP, +2.7%) among firms setting all-time highs.

And the work-from-home trend continues to ... well, work. Indeed, Direxion recently added details to the filing for its pending "WFH" exchange-traded fund, which it hopes can capitalize on a shift in how Americans live, work and play that accelerated with the emergence of COVID-19. "Remote communications, cyber security, online project and document management, and cloud computing technologies" - these are the industries WFH plans to invest in when and if the fund comes to market.

But if you can't wait for the fund, these 11 tech stocks represent some of the best opportunities in these same fields.

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Copyright 2020 The Kiplinger Washington Editors