Stock Markets’ March Higher Resumes as Hertz Soars, Array Shines

The stock market reversed course and pushed higher on Friday morning, with many investors hoping that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) might finally be poised to climb into record territory before 2020 ends. Positive comments about the prospects for a coronavirus vaccine had some investors extremely excited, but plenty of uncertainty still looms ahead.

Nevertheless, stocks moved generally higher. Shortly before 11:30 a.m. EDT today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was higher by 222 points to 28,716. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) had picked up 14 points to 3,497, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) had risen 14 points to 11,727.

Sources of excitement are coming from different parts of the stock market, and not all of them make perfect sense. Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE:HTZ) has been a favorite among short-term traders, and the latest news out of its bankruptcy proceeding led to a big jump in its stock price despite its dubious impact on Hertz’s financial prospects. Meanwhile, newly public Array Technologies (NASDAQ:ARRY) continued to gain ground following its Thursday IPO, reflecting investors’ huge appetite for solar-related suppliers.

Hertz drives higher

Shares of Hertz nearly doubled on Friday morning. The push above $2 per share marked the first time the rental car company’s stock fetched such a high price since June.

Hertz’s climb stems from the company getting additional debtor-in-possession financing in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The money will come from some of its existing senior creditors, including Apollo Global Management and other institutional investors.

View from backseat of a car dashboard, driver arm, and two-lane controlled access road.

Image source: Getty Images.

Lenders aren’t doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. The loan will pay 7.25 percentage points above a common short-term benchmark rate. Moreover, debtor-in-possession financing has priority over other Hertz debt, giving lenders additional security.

Shareholders are still hopeful that by giving Hertz until next summer to file a reorganization plan, the coronavirus pandemic will have played out and the company will somehow persuade current creditors to give shareholders a piece of the post-bankruptcy Hertz. That seems incredibly unlikely, but the fact that institutional investors are funding operations during bankruptcy is at least a positive sign that they aren’t looking for an accelerated liquidation of Hertz’s assets.

Array gets a second day in the sun

Elsewhere, shares of Array Technologies rose another 11% Friday morning. That added to a huge 66% rise on its first day of trading Thursday.

Array priced its IPO at $22 per share Thursday, above its anticipated range of $19 to $21. Yet that wasn’t nearly enough to reflect the demand for the solar company’s shares, resulting in a huge first-day move above $36.

Array’s business concentrates on providing mechanisms that allow solar panels to track the sun’s movement over the course of a day. With its systems used in a massive amount of utility-scale solar products, Array claims superior technology to its competitors that allows its tracking systems to use fewer motors and ensure greater reliability.

Other suppliers of solar products, including microinverters and energy storage systems, have seen huge share-price jumps in the past year. That augured well for Array’s IPO, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the solar stock  can keep shining into 2021 and beyond.

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