Ford Formally Announces a Partnership With Volkswagen, But Its Stock Price Still Falls

Ford announces it will miss its fourth-quarter earnings estimates.

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By Andrew Osterland

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The stock market continues to move on from the "bear market" it briefly entered (down 20 percent or more), during the holiday season.

The Dow index was up 0.59 percent today and has risen more than 11 percent since a Christmas Eve bottom. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes gained 0.22 percent and 0.15 percent respectively. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 0.36 percent.

Strong earnings reported by Goldman Sachs and Bank of America this morning buoyed the financial sector. Capital One Financial was up 2.58 percent, the third biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, and investment bank Jefferies Financial Group gained 2.0 percent. The asset managers also saw good gains despite difficult financial markets.

BlackRock reported financial results of what can only charitably be described as a tough quarter. It missed earnings estimates by 20 cents per share, missed on revenues, saw net asset inflows shrink by half and assets under management drop below the $6 trillion level due to market losses. Investors, however, were expecting worse given the recent volatility. BlackRock shares were up 3.18 percent, the second biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. Fellow asset manager Franklin Resources was also up 1.08 percent.

Wynn Resorts had the biggest gain on the index today, rising 3.46 percent. The resilient, if volatile, stock has been driven by one thing lately -- the Chinese gambling community. Chinese consumers may be buying fewer cars and iPhones and the country may be importing and exporting less goods, but Chinese gamblers continue to roll the dice. Gambling revenues in Macau, where Wynn operates three casinos, were up 17 percent in December, blowing away 11 percent estimates, and prompting a Stifel Nicolaus analyst to raise his price target for the stock to $141. It currently trades at $111.

Other significant gains were posted by hospital operator Universal Health Services, (2.08 percent), New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange, (1.36 percent) and apartment REIT Essex Property Trust, (1.61 percent.)

Ford Motor Co. had by far the biggest loss today, falling 6.22 percent. The company formally announced its alliance with Volkswagen AG to cooperate on building electric and autonomous vehicles, beginning with trucks and vans. The market, however, was more concerned with the immediate future after Ford also warned that it would miss fourth-quarter earnings estimates. The company will report financial results next week.

The technology sector was generally quiet today with two of the four FANG stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ in the red. Verisign Inc. (0.7 percent), had the biggest gain in the sector, while Twitter, (-1.67 percent) suffered the biggest loss.

Other significant declines on the index today included Jack Daniels-maker Brown-Forman Corp, (-1.37 percent), retailer Dollar Tree Inc. (-2.18 percent) and homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. (-1.64 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

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

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