Investors Like Tesla's New Independent Board Directors, Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson

Tesla was the biggest winner on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.

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By Andrew Osterland

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Stock prices were down in the morning, staged another rally in the afternoon but faded in the final hour of the last full trading day of the year.

The Dow and S&P 500 indexes were down 0.33 percent and 0.12 percent respectively, and are on pace for their worst performance in the month of December since 1931. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.08 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ gained 0.27 percent on the day.

Tesla had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, rising 5.61 percent. Investors appear to like the company's choice of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, head of HR for Walgreens Boots Alliance, as new independent directors on Tesla's board. The company was required to appoint a new chairman and two new independent board directors as part of a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk. The stock was down more than 15 percent in the last two weeks before today's jump.

Technology stocks were up sharply in early trading, but lost momentum through the day. NVIDIA Corp, which produces semiconductor chips for high-end graphics applications, led the pack rising 1.89 percent. The company's stock has had a wild year, rising more than 50 percent to a peak of $293 in early October and falling more than 50 percent to its current $134. It is down 29 percent for the year now. gained 1.14 percent and the other eleven tech stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were mixed. Facebook, down 0.98 percent, had the biggest decline in the sector.

Retail stocks were broadly higher this morning on the strength of good holiday season sales, but also limped to the finish. Walmart (0.59 percent), Costco Wholesale Group (0.48 percent) and Dollar Tree Inc. (0.45 percent) all ended the day with small gains as did specialty retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (0.26 percent).

Chipotle Mexican Grill had the second biggest gain on the index today, rising 2.33 percent.

The stocks of clothing makers were down sharply. L Brands and Under Armour Inc. were down 2.45 percent and 2.18 percent respectively, while Gap Inc. fell 1.99 percent. Ralph Lauren Corp. was off a more moderate 0.25 percent.

Oil and gas producer Hess Corp. was down after bouncing sharply off a 52-week low the day after Christmas. The stock fell 2.79 percent -- the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today--despite the price of oil rising 1.1 percent. Oil is down 40 percent since the beginning of October as confidence in global economic growth has waned.

Uncertainty continues to rule the day with investors. The government shutdown, U.S.-China trade talks and anxiety about the next moves by the Federal Reserve Bank are all contributing to volatility in stock prices. The market will be open for an abbreviated session on Monday before New Year's Eve.

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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