Strong Manufacturing Activity in March Lifts Stocks
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Stock prices were up sharply today as March manufacturing activity in both the U.S. and China exceeded expectations.
The good economic news sent interest rates soaring, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond rising more than nine basis points to 2.51 percent. It also sparked a surge in the stock indexes. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were up 1.27 percent and 1.16 percent respectively while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.29 percent.
Casino-operator Wynn Resorts was up a heady 8.4 percent -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. The stock was buoyed by official and private surveys that showed March manufacturing activity in China expanded at its fastest pace in eight months. Meanwhile, gambling revenues last month in Macau, where Wynn derives about 70 percent of its revenues, also held up much better than analyst expectations. The stock is up 30.8 percent so far this year.
The technology sector started the second quarter off with a bang. All thirteen tech stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ posted gains today. The four FAANG stocks on the index (Alphabet Inc., Amazon, Facebook and Netflix) were all up more than one percent, with Netflix (2.92 percent) gaining the most. Chipmakers Analog Devices and NVIDIA Corp. were up 2.86 percent and 1.51 percent respectively and software-makers Adobe Systems Inc. (2.12 percent) and salesforce.com (1.77 percent) were also up sharply.
Tesla maintained its recent momentum. The stock was up 3.16 percent today and has risen more than 11 percent in the last five trading sessions. It is still down 13.1 percent so far this year.
The sharp rise in long-term interest rates helped banks and financial stocks today. Credit card issuer Capital One Financial was up 3.42 percent and investment bank Jefferies Financial Group rose 2.55 percent. Other notable gains on the index included Fedex Corp. (2.78 percent), fund company BlackRock (2.58 percent) and Ford Motor Co. (2.28 percent).
While rising interest rates helped financial stocks, they hurt real estate investment trusts. Often seen as an income alternative to bonds, REIT stocks were sharply lower with the rise in bond yields today. Six of nine REITs on the Entrepreneur Index™ were down with Kimco Realty Corp. (-1.73 percent) posting the biggest loss.
Only two other stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were down more than one percent today. Shares in retailer Dollar Tree Inc. fell 1.26 percent today, despite setting a 52-week high this morning.
L Brands fell 1.34 percent after the company was panned by two analysts today. MKM Partners analyst Roxanne Meyer suggested the return of Victoria's Secret swimsuits could be a flop and Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said the company's PINK suite of products aimed at young women is falling flat. L Brands shares are up 6.0 percent this year but down 28.8 percent in the last twelve months.
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.