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Just a few percentage points from their all-time highs, the major stock indexes appear to be waiting for a catalyst to take them over the top.
It could be a trade deal with China. The two sides appear to be ironing out the details of an enforcement mechanism for the agreement.
It could be corporate earnings reports, which begin in earnest next week. The numbers won’t be strong, but if they beat lowered expectations, they may lift stock prices.
A late-afternoon rally pared losses on the stock indexes today. The Dow, and Nasdaq Composite fell 0.05 percent and 0.21 percent respectively, while the S&P 500 was flat on the day. The Entrepreneur Index™ was down 0.28 percent with retailers, drug-makers and Tesla posting the biggest declines.
Tesla shares were down 2.77 percent, after it was reported that the company and partner Panasonic were delaying further investment in a $4.5 billion Gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada. In its fourth quarter letter to shareholders, Tesla suggested it would likely build its Model Y crossover vehicle at the huge factory.
The company’s positive spin on the news was that it was more productively tapping existing capacity at other facilities to meet current needs. Investors appear worried that demand for Tesla vehicles may be waning and/or that its relationship with battery producer Panasonic may be fraying. Tesla stock is down 19.3 percent this year.
Bed Bath & Beyond continued to be the most active stock on the Entrepreneur Index™. It fell 8.76 percent today after posting slightly better earnings results than expected yesterday. Good earnings, however, may mean bad news for investors. The stock has soared since activist investors announced they would try to replace the BBBY board and oust CEO Steven Temares. Management increased its guidance for 2019 and if it can show enough improvement, a major overhaul of the struggling retailer could be averted. BBBY shares are still up 56.5 percent so far this year.
Other retailers were also weak today. L Brands (-2.28 percent), Costco Wholesale Corp. (-1.78 percent) and Gap Inc. (-1.66. were all down sharply. Walmart (1.2 percent) and Dollar Tree Inc. (1.18 percent), however, posted moderate gains.
Cerner Corp., another company on the Entrepreneur Index™ recently targeted by an activist investor, fell 2.37 percent today. Shares in the healthcare information technology provider jumped more than ten percent on Tuesday after hedge fund Starboard Value LP successfully installed four new directors on the company’s board. The shares are up 18.6 percent so far this year.
Gains on the Entrepreneur Index™ today were muted. Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. had the biggest jump, rising 2.09 percent. Other notable gains included truck-maker PACCAR Inc. (1.35 percent) and pest-control company Rollins Inc. (1.36 percent). Netflix, up 1.02 percent, had the biggest gain in the technology sector.
The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.
April 11, 2019 at 05:16PM