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Was the 9 Percent Drop in the S&P 500 Really Just a 'Glitch' Like President Trump Says?

Somewhat unlikely trade deals could stem the tide of falling stocks.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

That was some glitch!

President Trump called the more than nine percent drop in the S&P 500 index last month a glitch and suggested that stock prices would recover if trade deals -- most notably with China -- are completed.

That, of course, is a big if. With the worst December since 1931 behind it, the S&P 500 and Dow Industrials indexes both overcame very weak starts to the day, to post gains of 0.13 percent and 0.08 percent respectively. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.46 percent today

The Entrepreneur Index™ was up 0.26 percent, with strength in energy, technology and clothing stocks offset by losses in manufacturing stocks and real estate investment trusts.

Bed Bath & Beyond had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, rising 5.83 percent. The specialty retailer had a horrible 2018, with the stock dropping nearly 50 percent. It appears to be riding a high from reportedly strong holiday season sales across the retail sector.

 

Wynn Resorts stock had the second biggest gain on the day, rising 5.55 percent. The casino operator was once again buoyed by Macau gamblers. December gross gambling revenues reported today for the former Portuguese colony, where Wynn operates three casinos, were up a heady 16.6 percent. That blew away estimates that anticipated a slowdown due to slower growth in China. Analysts, however, expect that comparisons could get more difficult this year, particularly with a smoking ban in casinos going into effect this month.

Oil and gas producer Hess Corp. rose 4.3 percent as the oil market showed signs of finding a bottom. The price of West Texas crude was up 2.51 percent today as recent production cuts by OPEC members began taking effect. Oil prices have fallen 40 percent since early October, but are up nearly 10 percent since dropping below $43/barrel the day before Christmas.

Kinder Morgan was also up sharply, rising 2.73 percent. The manager of oil and gas pipelines is much less dependent on energy prices than producers like Hess Corp, but the stock still fell more than 20 percent over the last three months. Low oil prices may eventually lead to lower production (and pipeline transportation) in the U.S., but the country is currently pumping record volumes and is expected to maintain high levels in 2019.

Clothing makers got the year off to a good start. L Brands (2.49 percent) and Ralph Lauren Corp. (1.91 percent) were up nicely and Under Armour Inc. gained 0.79 percent.

Technology stocks were mixed with Facebook (3.5 percent) posting the biggest gain and Akamai Technologies (-3.39. the biggest decline. Adobe Systems Inc. (-0.74 percent) and salesforce.com (-1.04 percent) both fell on the day.

Tesla shares were down sharply as production numbers for the fourth quarter came in slightly lower than expected. The stock fell 6.81 percent -- the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. The pioneer in electric cars also announced price cuts on all its models to help offset the cut in federal income tax credits for buyers of electric vehicles this year.

Ford, on the other hand, was up 3.27 percent today though it remained below $8 per share. The stock fell 37 percent last year and currently has a price-earnings ratio of just 5.5 times and a dividend yield of over seven percent.

The REIT stocks were hammered despite interest rates falling on the day. Residential focused companies like Equity Residential (-3.41 percent) and Apartment Investment and Management Co. (-3.49 percent) fell furthest. Storage REIT Extra Space Storage was also down 3.36 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.

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