Ford Stock Up Big on Wednesday With Volkswagen Alliance Looming

It wasn't pretty, but the stock market logged its fourth straight day of gains today.

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By Andrew Osterland

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Few stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were up dramatically, but after a rocky start in the morning, prices trended positive for the rest of the day across most sectors of the market.

The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were up 0.39 percent and 0.41 percent respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.87 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 0.47 percent.

Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. had the biggest gain on the index today, rising 6.26 percent after competitor Lennar Corp reported good earnings this morning. D.R. Horton also got a ratings upgrade from a Keefe Bruyette Woods analyst.

Lennar, the second biggest homebuilder in the country by market value, missed slightly on sales estimates but beat on earnings and saw shares jump 7.9 percent. The housing industry has been one of the weaker segments of the economy in the last year. Shares in D.R. Horton, the most valuable publicly owned homebuilder, are down 25 percent in the last year but are up 20 percent since Christmas Eve.

Hess Corp. continues to ride the price of oil up after being bludgeoned in the last two months. The stock was up 3.47 percent today. The oil and gas producer is up 38 percent since the price of oil bottomed at $42 on Christmas Eve. The price of West Texas crude was up another 4.82 percent today, blowing through the $50 level to settle at $52.18 per barrel.

Ford Motor Co. was also up smartly, rising 4.18 percent. The long-awaited restructuring plan for the company may come into focus next week when Ford announces details about an alliance with Volkswagen AG. Reuters reported that the two companies may cooperate more closely on the development of electric vehicle and autonomous car technologies as well as on commercial vehicles.

The tech sector had a quiet, though generally positive day. Analog Devices had the biggest gain in the sector, rising 2.53 percent and Verisign Inc. had the biggest loss, falling 0.82 percent. Facebook, (1.19 percent), was the only FANG stock to move in either direction by more than one percent.

Gap Inc. had another volatile day, rising 3.33 percent after falling more than five percent yesterday. Other decent gains on the day included Bed Bath & Beyond, (4.07 percent) and Fedex Corp. (2.14 percent).

Estee Lauder Companies had the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. Shares in the cosmetics maker fell 3.69 percent after a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded the stock to a sell rating. Estee Lauder has 17 sell ratings from Wall Street analysts and just two buys, according to TradingView.

Other notable declines on the Entrepreneur Index™ included food-maker Tyson Foods, (-1.74 percent), truck-maker PACCAR Inc. (-1.51 percent) and retailer Dollar Tree Inc. (-1.45 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

Andrew Osterland

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

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