Investors have largely ignored concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, instead trying to keep their eyes on long-term growth prospects in the United States and the global economy. Plus, with vaccines seemingly on the way, many are hoping they can wait until the pandemic is over. Yet California’s decision to impose month-long curfews threw cold water on many of those hopes and lowered many parts of the market. At 11:30 a.m. EST, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^ DJI) lost 122 points to 29361, and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^ GSPC) fell 7 points to 3575. Again, however, the Nasdaq composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^ IXIC) weathered the trend with a modest gain of 21 points to 11,926.
Among the individual actions there were a lot of winners. In the hot electric vehicle market, XPeng (NYSE: XPEV) presented its latest vehicle and its latest features at a trade show in China. Meanwhile, Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK) gained momentum as investors again saw the potential value of collaboration software in helping manage workforce remotely.
New bling for XPeng
XPeng shares rose 10% on Friday morning. In addition to the continued excitement over electric vehicle inventories in general, XPeng also gained attention after unveiling some interesting products and services in Guangzhou.
XPeng presented its P7 Wing vehicle at the auto show, a limited edition of its super long-range P7 sports sedan. The vehicle includes all of the features of the regular P7, but it has upward-opening scissor-style doors that you will typically only find on luxury sports vehicles. It also includes custom features and carries a price in China of around $ 56,000 to $ 62,000.
Perhaps more importantly, XPeng will become the first automaker to implement laser Lidar technology in its autonomous driving software and hardware systems for the 2021 production year. The company said Lidar will be a breakthrough in autonomous driving. new generation, greatly improving the performance of the system’s high-precision object recognition.
Increasingly, investors in electric automakers are realizing that companies’ real value may well come from their technological advancements in autonomous driving and AI rather than in the vehicles themselves. This could be a big part of what drives the stock prices of XPeng and its peers going forward.
Work for the weekend
Elsewhere, Slack’s share price rose nearly 7% on Friday morning. The workplace collaboration software platform provider has had a head start amid new concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, although the stock has generally been quite volatile and hasn’t seen the huge gains that some of its peers made in 2020.
When the latest news on the coronavirus vaccine broke, many analysts began to question whether the work-from-home trend would continue to support stocks like Slack. Many companies use Slack in their office operations, but the need for such software is greater as many companies have turned to working from remote locations.
Today’s gains reflect nervousness over whether an extended period of remote working might be necessary. Yet that still leaves some questions about potential competition unanswered. With video systems gaining in popularity and with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) having the internal path with its Teams product being integrated into its larger software suite, Slack still has a few hurdles to overcome.
It’s good to see stocks go up even in a volatile market. It still makes sense, however, to take a close look at the fundamentals beyond what is driving a daily increase. It can give you a much better idea for making a wise investment decision.