Is the U.S. Economy Peaking and Heading for a Fall?
The market giveth and the market taketh away.
A day after posting the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™, TripAdvisor Inc. was down 5.42 percent today. The online travel website posted strong earnings yesterday and saw a 16 percent jump in its stock.
TripAdvisor wasn't the only stock giving back gains. Ralph Lauren Corp. up 3.78 percent yesterday, fell 6.26 percent today, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™.
The market as a whole was down, with the Entrepreneur Index™ falling 1.2 percent. While a late afternoon rally pared losses, share price declines on the index outpaced gains by a margin of 41 to 19.
The stock market had one of its best days of the year on Wednesday following the mid-term elections, but has been skittish for the last two trading sessions. Conflicting economic indicators may be the reason. On the one hand, the U.S. economy remains strong and a 0.6 percent jump in the producer price index (PPI) reported today suggests that the Fed will keep to its plans to raise rates again in December and next year.
On the other hand, the rest of the world -- particularly China, the second largest global economy -- is clearly slowing down. The price of oil, one of the better barometers of global growth, had its tenth straight daily decline today and is down more than 20 percent in the last month. Is the U.S. economy peaking and headed for a fall?
The bond market appeared to think so today. Despite the higher than expected PPI reading this morning, the 10-year Treasury bond yield was down 4.5 points to 3.19 percent.
All the uncertainty is hitting high growth technology stocks hardest. The Nasdaq composite index was down 1.65 percent today and most tech stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were in the red. Netflix (-4.55 percent), salesforce.com (-3.49 percent) and Analog Devices (-2.6 percent) had the biggest declines in the sector.
Biotech stocks have also been under pressure. Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals declined 2.94 percent and 1.84 percent respectively today. Both were down more than 15 percent last month.
Truck manufacturer PACCAR Inc. fell 2.98 percent on the day. With worries about global growth and the demand for automobiles and trucks, the company's stock also fell more than 15 percent in October.
Other stocks on the index with significant declines today included the two asset managers BlackRock and Franklin Resources, down 1.77 percent and 2.43 percent respectively. Shipping company Fedex was also off 2.18 percent.
The biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ was registered by Chipotle Mexican Grill, which was up 2.61 percent, followed by food-maker J.M. Smucker Company, up 1.77 percent. No other stock on the index had a gain of more than 1 percent.
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.