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Nvidia hits record high as stock surge nears 120% this year

Nvidia Corp. rallied to a record on Thursday, in the latest example of the company extending a 2021 advance that has seen the stock more than double.

The chipmaker rose 12% in its sixth straight positive session, its longest winning streak since June. The shares have climbed more than 20% over that stretch and are up nearly 130% this year. Nvidia is by far the biggest gainer in the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index, which has climbed about 33% in 2021.

Thursday’s rally came after Wells Fargo Securities raised its price target to $320 from $245, seeing a sizable opportunity related to the metaverse, a digital environment that is accessed with virtual reality tools. Analyst Aaron Rakers wrote that the metaverse could represent a $10 billion opportunity for Nvidia over the next five years, and that over the longer term, “the market opportunity could be even greater as digital assets and digital twins become significant economic drivers.”

The advance added $80 billion to the company’s valuation, and the company now has a market valuation of about $745 billion, making it the seventh-largest member of the S&P 500. At the end of 2020, Nvidia’s market cap was about $323 billion, and it was not among the 15 biggest names in the benchmark U.S. equity index.

Retail investors have taken note of the recent surge, according to data from Vanda Research. In the latest week, “retail investors chased rallies in high flying semiconductor names” like Nvidia, the firm wrote in a note dated Nov. 3. After October’s equity gains were driven by institutional investors, a fear of missing out “appears to be kicking in.”

The gain in Nvidia comes ahead of the release of its third-quarter results, expected later this month. Bloomberg

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