Get All Access for $5/mo

Entrepreneur Index™ Rises Despite Growing Signs of an Economic Slowdown A slowing economy and mixed political signals are leaving investors ambivalent about stocks.

By Andrew Osterland

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Chuanchai Pundej | EyeEm | Getty Images

Since bolting out of the gate in the new year, the major stock indexes have leveled off in the last ten days amid growing signs of an economic slowdown. The Dow index was down 0.27 percent today, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes were down 0.28 percent and 0.29 percent respectively. The Entrepreneur Index™ outperformed the broader market, rising 0.18 percent on the day.

The economy is officially slowing. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning -- one month late because of the government shutdown -- that GDP growth for the fourth quarter was 2.6 percent. That's significantly less than the previous two quarters but better than the 2.2 percent that economists were expecting.

Meanwhile, the political news has been all over the map. President Trump's meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un was cut short without an agreement; nuclear powers Pakistan and India have renewed hostilities and Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said that the trade talks with China were showing "fantastic" progress. There is also the question of whether Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney, calling the President "a racist, a con and a cheat," has any significance to Mr. Trump's political future.

Universal Health Services had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, rising 4.18 percent. The operator of acute care facilities reported fourth quarter earnings after the market close yesterday, beating earnings estimates slightly and destroying revenue forecasts. The stock is up 19.3 percent this year.

L Brands had the biggest decline on the index after it reported earnings and another bad quarter for flagship brand Victoria's Secret lingerie. Earnings were slightly better than expected, but sales missed estimates and the company issued forward guidance below expectations. Same-store sales for Victoria's Secret were down three percent in the quarter and the company said it would close 53 stores this year. The stock was down more than eight percent in the morning but closed the day down 4.6 percent. It has plunged 47 percent in the last twelve months.

The technology sector was quiet once again today. The four FAANG stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ have been in the doldrums lately. Alphabet Inc. (0.35 percent) had the only gain of the four today. Facebook and Netflix were down 0.84 percent and 1.31 percent respectively. TripAdvisor Inc. had the biggest decline in the sector, dropping 1.77 percent. Twitter, up 1.22 percent, had the biggest gain.

Other notable gains were posted by Capital One Financial, (1.6 percent), Tesla (1.96 percent) and REITs Extra Space Storage (1.67 percent) and Macerich Company (1.73 percent). Retailer Gap Inc. reported earnings after the market close and announced a major restructuring of the company. The stock was up sharply in after-hours trading.

Other declines on the Entrepreneur Index™ included homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. (-2.87 percent), healthcare IT services provider Cerner Corp. (-1.82 percent), and food-maker J.M. Smucker Company (-1.54 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.

Andrew Osterland is a contributing writer for CNBC.com. He specializes in capital markets, personal finance and taxes.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.