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Apple and Tesla stock split, new-look Dow help propel Wall Street to best August in more than 30 years

This month’s gains have pushed the S&P 500 to record levels, officially confirming a new bull market has started. The Dow, meanwhile, has already erased its 2020 losses.
Pedestrians pass by The New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street on Aug. 3, 2020.Angela Weiss / AFP - Getty Images file
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Wall Street just wrapped up its best August performance since the 1980s.

The S&P is up 7 percent this month to date, putting the index on track for its biggest August performance since 1986. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has rallied by 7.6 percent this month, for its biggest August gain since 1984.

Two big stock splits took effect on Monday: Apple's 4-for-1 and Tesla's 5-for-1 split. Both companies saw shares rise sharply, with Apple advancing by 4 percent and Tesla jumping by close to 10 percent.

Monday’s gains are the latest in a string of strong performances since the companies announced the stock splits. Since Apple announced July 30 it had board approved a 4-for-1 stock split, stock is up more than 32 percent. Tesla has skyrocketed more than 70 percent since it announced a 5-for-1 stock split on Aug. 11.

This year, smaller traders have been more actively participating in the market. The popularity of online day-trading platforms such as Robinhood — which lets users buy as little as $1 worth of a company’s stock — is giving younger and less wealthy investors the chance to get a toehold in an expensive market.

However, some investment professionals worry that eye-popping valuations are attracting less-sophisticated investors who have little experience navigating market volatility, and — in an economy where inequality and financial insecurity are on the rise — even less margin for error.

This week also marks the first trading session for a newly rebalanced Dow: Salesforce, Amgen and Honeywell have been added, replacing longtime components Exxon Mobil, Pfizer and Raytheon Technologies.