Target’s 12% Rally; Apple at $2 Trillion

There was a slight acknowledgment by markets on Wednesday that perhaps 2020 won’t be as rosy for “corporate America” as Wall Street has been implying.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its late July meeting on Wednesday afternoon and stocks instantly dived. It turns out the central bank was dismayed by the second spike of the virus, which in turn slowed down efforts to reopen businesses across the U.S.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 27,692.

On Target. Big-box retailer Target (ticker: TGT) saw the type of growth that might typically only be expected from a small-time retail player. Revenue surged nearly 25% year over year, driven by record-setting comparable sales growth of 24.3%. Digital sales exploded, surging nearly 200%, and same-day services like curbside pickup saw even more dramatic gains amid the pandemic.

Earnings per share jumped 85% from the same period a year ago, and Target stock soared more than 12% on the day, finishing as the single best performer in the S&P 500.

The first $2 trillion company. Apple ( AAPL) officially crossed the $2 trillion valuation mark during Wednesday trading, just two years after hitting the vaunted $1 trillion mark. Although simply a nominal benchmark, it’s still a bit remarkable to watch the steady progression of corporate valuations, reflecting both the gradual devaluation of the dollar and the growing dominance of big business.

Will valuations reach the quadrillions by the start of the next century?

Peter Thiel making moves. Famed venture capitalist Peter Thiel, one of the early major investors in Facebook ( FB), also has large stakes in some of the hottest privately held companies around, including Airbnb and Palantir Technologies. Both companies made major moves on Wednesday, with home-sharing platform Airbnb filing confidentially for an initial public offering and Palantir relocating its headquarters from the high-tech region of Silicon Valley to Denver.

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