In another up for technology shares, software companies saw their values reach new heights today.
The day’s trading comes after a sell-off last week eased some of technology companies’ rebounds from their COVID-19 lows; stocks in tech companies have more than made up for their early-year declines in mid-2020, with the Nasdaq reaching 10,000 points before giving up some ground.
Today the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.15% to 9,910.53 points, just a few bips short of its all-time highs. A thematic tech index focused on fintech also saw their values recover to a mote under previous highs. The S&P 500 fell 0.36% to close at $3,113.41 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index decreased 0.65% to $26,119.13.
But software companies, tech’s highest fliers, set new records as measured by the Bessemer cloud index. According to the Financial Times, the software-and-cloud tracking index has seen gains of more than 45% during the last year, a sharp advance during a year of economic uncertainty and occasional stock market carnage.
Looking around more broadly, tech shares with a bit more of a value flavor — GAAP profitability, regular dividends, etc. — performed well, with Apple setting new record highs as well. The smartphone giant and services shop is worth more than $1.5 trillion, underscoring how attractive stable-tech has proved in 2020. On the same theme, Microsoft is a few points from all-time highs, and is worth around $1.48 trillion.
But while software’s growth has proved attractive, as has the stability of megacorp tech shops, less certain bets have also proved attractive. Nikola, an electric vehicle company that went public recently in a reverse debut, is still worth around $26 billion despite having no reported revenue. On a similar theme, Tesla shares are up from around $225 a year ago to over $993 today, a gain of 340% or so. In Q1 2020 the company posted 38% year-over-year growth.
$420 per share feels like a long time ago.
Speaking of transportation, Uber and Lyft had separate announcements Wednesday that should have primed the ol’ investor pump. Instead, shares of both companies bopped from flat to slightly down throughout the day.
Uber announced Wednesday that it will manage an on-demand service for Marin County in the San Francisco Bay area, marking the company’s broader push to Software as a Service and public transit.
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) will pay Uber a subscription fee to use its management software to facilitate requesting, matching and tracking of its high-occupancy vehicle fleet, starting with a service that operates along the Highway 101 corridor. Marin Transit trips will show up in the Uber app and let users book and even share rides.
This fundamental piece of news should have appealed to investors. Today they responded with a resounding “meh,” even though it represents the first steps into generating a new stream of revenue.
Uber shares closed down 0.60% to $33.29.
Meanwhile, rival Lyft pledged Wednesday that every car, truck and SUV on its platform will be all electric or powered by another zero-emission technology by 2030, a commitment that will require the company to coax drivers to shift away from gas-powered vehicles.
The target, which Lyft plans to pursue with help from the Environmental Defense Fund, will stretch across multiple programs. It will include the company’s autonomous vehicles, the Express Drive rental car partner program for rideshare drivers, consumer rental cars for riders and personal cars that drivers use on the Lyft app.
Perhaps investors understand that even with a decade-long timeline, the target could be difficult to meet.
Lyft shares closed at $35.32, down 3.79%.
TechCrunch has slowed its public market coverage as tech equities have returned to a more stable period; that they have made back lost ground has been worth noting, but lower volatility has lowered the market’s newsworthiness. Still, from time-to-time when new all-time highs are hit, it’s worth putting our toes back into the water. And on days when different blocs of public tech set records, we can’t help but make a public note.
Tech and tech-ish stocks: still in fashion.