Investors Optimistic for President Trump and Chinese Leader Xi Jinping's Meeting Next Week
China trade worries have dogged the stock market for nearly a year. But, investors were willing to hope for the best today after President Trump announced he would meet with Chinese leader XI Jinping at the G20 summit next week.
Semiconductor chip-makers, extremely sensitive to relations between the two biggest markets for technology, jumped on the news. NVIDIA Corp. (5.54 percent) and Analog Devices (4.61 percent) had the two biggest gains on the Entrepreneur Index™, which rose 0.72 percent today. The Dow index gained 1.35 percent and the S&P 500 index, up 0.97 percent, is now back within spitting distance of its all-time high.
Stock prices were strong across most of the market. The broader technology sector was generally positive, though not as dramatically as the chip stocks. Three of the four FAANG stocks on the index were up with Netflix (1.83 percent) posting the biggest gain. Facebook, up sharply in the last two days on news of its imminent foray into the crypto-currency world, was down 0.29 percent. Cognizant Technology (1.85 percent) and Akamai Technologies (2.17 percent) had good gains.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals was up more than three percent midday but closed with a gain of 1.86 percent after Japanese regulators approved one of the firm's drugs to treat a rare blood disorder. Down sharply in May, Alexion shares are up nearly ten percent this month.
Truck-maker PACCAR Inc. was up 2.53 percent today and apparel makers Under Armour Inc. (2.17 percent) and L Brands (1.46 percent) were both up nicely. Economic bellwether, Fedex Corp. rose 1.6 percent and Capital One Financial gained 1.49 percent. Asset managers BlackRock and Franklin Resources, both down more than one percent yesterday, were up 2.09 percent and 2.01 percent respectively today.
Brown-Forman Corp., somewhat surprisingly, had one of the bigger declines on the index today, dropping 1.2 percent. Shares in the maker of liquor and wine have suffered as tariffs have increased across global markets. They are up 14.0 percent this year but only 2.0 percent in the last twelve months.
Tyson Foods fell again today, slipping 1.72 percent. Shares in the meat producer are up 44.5 percent this year, but have fallen recently due to the severity of Midwest floods. The extraordinary flooding this spring could dramatically reduce the productivity of river-lands and increase feed costs for livestock. Fellow food-maker J.M. Smucker Company was also down 1.47 percent and Gap Inc. fell 1.75 percent.
The REIT sector was weak today despite another drop in government bond yields. All nine REITs on the index were down, with SL Green Realty Corp.(-3.5 percent), the biggest office landlord in New York City, posting the steepest decline.
All eyes will be on the Fed tomorrow. The Federal Reserve Board's two day meeting wraps up on Wednesday and the committee is expected to signal that a cut in interest rates is likely next month.
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.