(Reuters) – Tesla Inc on Tuesday announced a five-for-one stock split, sending the electric carmaker’s recently high-flying shares up 7% in extended trade.
Tesla’s stock, which traded at $1,475 after the announcement, is among the highest priced on Wall Street, and the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a press release it was looking to make its shares more accessible to employees and investors.
Tesla’s stock has surged over 200% this year, while shares of General Motors and Ford Motor declined on fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Stock splits are a way for companies to make shares more accessible to retail investors, potentially attracting individual investors who make small trades. However, brokerages increasingly let customers buy parts of shares, making the benefit of share splits less clear than in the past.
Tesla said stock holders of record on Aug. 21 would receive four additional shares after the close of trading on Aug. 28, with the stock trading on a split-adjusted basis beginning Aug. 31.
Tesla’s stock split follows a four-for-one split announced by Apple Inc in late July, the iPhone maker’s first stock split since 2014.
Stock splits have become rare on Wall Street in recent years, with just three S&P 500 components announcing splits in 2020, compared with an average of 10 a year over the past decade, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Tesla in July posted a second-quarter profit as cost cuts and strong deliveries helped offset coronavirus-related factory shutdowns, clearing a hurdle that could lead to the carmaker’s inclusion in the S&P 500 index.
While many institutional investors have avoided Tesla’s stock in recent years due to a lack of consistent profitability, the company has a strong following among individual investors.
Over the past 30 days, Tesla was second only to Apple as the most popular stock on the Robinhood trading app, according to Robintrack, a website that tracks Robinhood holdings.
Tesla’s stock split should not affect S&P Dow Jones Indices’ potential decision to add the company to the S&P 500, which is weighted by companies’ overall stock market values.
The share split will not make Tesla any less expensive in terms of actual earnings it delivers to investors. The stock currently trades at 112 times expected earnings over the next 12 months, according to Refinitiv. By comparison, GM is valued at eight times expected earnings, and Ford at 45 times expected earnings.
(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Noel Randewich in Oakland; Editing by Leslie Adler)
Futures tied to major U.S. equity averages were little changed in overnight trading on Monday after days of gains on Wall Street pushed the S&P 500 within striking distance of a record high.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped about 10 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 futures were also flat.
The 30-stock Dow gained about 350 points in regular trading on Monday, posting its seventh positive session in a row — its longest winning streak since September 2019. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, sitting just 0.9% below its record high set in February. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq underperformed with a 0.4% loss as investors rotated out of some of the high-fliers.
“Markets are looking forward to better days ahead,” Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist at LPL Financial, said in a note. “Although the timing is uncertain, the stock market is expressing confidence that the pandemic will end eventually with a vaccine—or multiple vaccines—and with help from better treatments in the interim.”
Investors still grappled with the uncertain fate of further coronavirus stimulus aimed at supporting Americans struggling during the pandemic.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday the White House is open to resuming coronavirus aid talks with Democrats and putting more relief money on the table to reach a compromise.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday in a tweet that he hoped lawmakers will be finalizing the bill this week and that he’s glad President Donald Trump “stepped in to soften the blow of their hostage tactics.”
“Given the limited scope of the deal and the positive market reaction, equity investors continue to embed a likelihood that a larger agreement is reached,” Mark Hackett Nationwide’s chief of investment research, said in a note on Monday.
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Analyst upgrade for AMD, Disney’s worst quarter ever, and another change in leadership at Ford is coming.
The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^SPX) had one of its calmest days in weeks on Aug. 4, closing up 12 points, or 0.36%, in the middle of one of the busiest earnings weeks for the quarter. On the whole, it was a good day for investors, with about 300 of the 505 stocks in the index moving higher today.
Today’s biggest S&P 500 movers were fertilizer giant Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), up 13.6% following blowout earnings, and semiconductor giant Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), with shares gaining 9.5% following an analyst upgrade.
Other big news for major index components include the announcement from Ford (NYSE:F) that CEO Jim Hackett will retire at the end of September, with CFO Jim Farley tapped to take the head job at the Blue Oval. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) released its fiscal third-quarter results after the bell today, reporting a massive 42% revenue decline and a $4.7 billion loss.
Image source: Getty Images.
AMD gets an upgrade
Wall Street is paying more attention to the semiconductor company, particularly its big lead over Intel(NASDAQ:INTC) in microprocessors. Today’s share price surge came after Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis upgraded his price target, citing its huge lead in 7nm CPUs and its partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor that could allow it to take significant market share from Intel over the next several years.
Lipacis moved his target price from $86 to $95 and thinks AMD could get to 50% market share within five years as Intel struggles to make up lost ground.
Fertile ground for Mosaic
The fertilizer giant reported second-quarter earnings, sending shares up sharply after reporting a profit of $0.11 per share when analysts were expecting a small loss. It wasn’t just a profitable second quarter that has investors excited today: Mosaic management set expectations that the rest of the year would be strong, citing food security as being a major priority in every geography where it does business.
Simply put, food is not a discretionary expense, and Mosaic management expects its business to prove resilient and necessary even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on the global economy.
Ford getting third CEO in four years
When Jim Hackett replaced Mark Fields in 2017, investors were hopeful he would be able to successfully accelerate Ford’s shift to the future of transportation and return to the days of profitable growth that have evaded the company since Alan Mulally retired in 2014. After just over three years in the driver’s seat, Hackett’s run as CEO is set to end on Oct. 1, with, at best, mixed results.
Hackett came in with the explicit goal of accelerating Ford’s development of electric and autonomous vehicles and making the company more nimble and profitable. He’s achieved the former, but the latter has, so far, evaded the company. Longtime Ford and former Toyota executive Jim Farley has been tapped as Hackett’s replacement. Farley has been at Ford since 2007 and was named CFO earlier this year in a move that was expected to be at least partly an audition for the top job down the road.
Disney loses billions; stock goes up after hours
In the “quarterly earnings, low expectations” edition, Disney managed to beat expectations in its fiscal third quarter. On the top and bottom lines, investors expected revenues to fall sharply, so the 42% decline wasn’t a shock. Theme park revenue fell 85%, while studio entertainment — mainly movie theater ticket sales — fell 55%.
As to the massive $4.7 billion GAAP loss Disney reported, $5 billion in restructuring and impairment charges made the actual operating results look much worse than they actually were. The company still managed to generate $1.2 billion in operating cash and $454 million in free cash flow in the quarter.
As a result of these better-than-expected results (expectations, remember?) along with the announcement that it now has over 100 million subscribers to over-the-top streaming services, shares were up about 4% in after-hours trading.
Global travel giant Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG) also reports this week. The company is scheduled to announce its second-quarter results after the market closes on Aug. 6. Check back here for a closer look at each company’s earnings from our experts, soon after they report.
Jason Hall owns shares of Ford and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bristol Myers Squibb, Jefferies Financial Group Inc., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recom
U.S. stocks ticked up slightly in premarket trading as investors fretted about increased tensions between the U.S. and China as well as coronavirus cases continuing to increase on what feels like a stereotypical summer Friday.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
crept up 75 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500
and Nasdaq Composite
futures were up 0.4% and 0.9%. Because of how the futures work, however, the S&P 500 looks set to open up 0.2%, while the Dow could open up 0.3% and the Nasdaq flat.
Oil dipped slightly over demand worries. The price of WTI crude was off by 0.5% at $40.53 a barrel while Brent crude was down 0.7% at $43.08 a barrel.
(TWTR) shares slid 0.7% after revealing that 130 accounts were targeted in the security breach earlier this week in which accounts of prominent people like Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, Amazon
(AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, and presidential candidate Joe Biden were compromised.
If this trend persists, President Trump’s White House stay will be bookended by optimistic stock markets accompanying his arrival and his departure.
President Trump campaigned vigorously in 2015/2016, promising, among other things, to bring back former leading U.S. industries, then stagnant: Steel, aluminum, oil & gas and coal. However, he failed, and those groups are dramatically lower, even though the overall stock market rose.
Now, however, those stocks are joining today’s rising market because of Trump, but not for the reasons Trump anticipated. This time, it’s his potential leaving that is creating bullishness.
Following Congress’ 2017 year-end tax bill that included reduced corporate taxes, Trump began to act to support his favored industries. He unilaterally (that is, without advisory input or support from Congress) enacted “emergency” tariffs and signed Executive Orders (many reversing established measures and procedures). And he made his intentions clear by engaging in anti-world (particularly anti-China) trade rhetoric.
However, except for brief bouts of optimism, those pet industries have performed terribly as Trump’s hoped-for benefits failed to materialize. Worse, trading partners enacted measures that put U.S. businesses at a disadvantage.
The graph below shows the large stock losses for Trump’s favored industries. even as significant gains occurred elsewhere. Those gains reflected the continuing progress in the rest of the U.S. economy that more than offset the negatives.
Trump’s pet industries now exiting his tent
On April 1, President Trump’s daily briefings with his coronavirus task force had improved his multi-poll ratings (per FiveThirtyEight) to 45.8% approval and 49.7% disapproval, a spread of (3.9)% – his best readings since early 2017. Then started the waterfall of negatives – coronavirus worsening, declining interest in daily briefings, legal setbacks, convention location difficulties and an inability to conduct large rallies.
As a result, Trump’s multi-poll numbers have now slipped (as of July 15) to 40.3% approval and 55.6% disapproval, a spread of (15.3)%.
So, what’s happened to Trump’s favored industries during that 3-1/2 month period? Positive stock performance as his reelection prospects dim. Here’s the picture:
So, why would Trump’s defeat boost the stock market?
First, start with the recent articles that have appeared, citing worry that a President Biden would reverse the 2017 tax cuts, thereby damaging the economy and stock market. Clearly, the stock market isn’t acting like that’s a risk.
Instead, ask the question, “Why would Biden do that?” Like the tax cuts or not, they had a positive economic and business effect.
Note: This type of reporting continues to be a problem – focusing on one, simplistic idea that has no basis, but can spur discussion and disagreement (and reader views, the main measure of an article’s “worth” these days).
Instead, we should expect the following actions will be taken up, all with the goal to right the U.S. ship of state and get it sailing straight and true again, allowing a rebuilding of support and trust:
First, through wise diplomacy, negotiate the reduction and removal of those “emergency” tariffs and the associated trade actions/reactions that have tripped up global trade well beyond steel, coal, etc. (Remember the $billions spent to partially compensate farmers for the “unexpected and unintended” damage done.)
Second, reverse Trump’s many executive orders that had no basis other than to appeal to his base. For example, allowing coal companies to pollute waterways.
Third, restore control within agencies (e.g., the EPA) by selecting qualified, unbiased leaders (ratified by Congress) to carry out their missions.
Fourth, restore the U.S.’s strong and leading position in regional and world groups like NATO and WHO. Supportive participation with wise diplomacy is the only way for the U.S. to get along with and benefit from the rest of the world.
Fifth, create that long-delayed infrastructure bill to both repair and modernize.
Sixth, rectify the many programs and operations that President Trump disrupted and then left in disarray – For example, climate change goals/strategies, health services/insurance, military missions/engagements, national park policies/management, voting policies/procedures and, of course, enlightened immigration/visa policies/procedures.
The growing possibility of those six beneficial items (and others) resulting from Trump’s defeat are what the stock market likely is focusing on. The 2016 view of “give a nonpolitical businessman a chance to drain the swamp and turn the U.S. into a win-win country” looks to have given way to “been there, done that – time to move on.”
The bottom line
If Trump’s reign as President is ending, his time in office may be bookended with stock market rises. Four years ago, Trump’s surprise win caused the market to run up. Today, it looks like the market is running up in anticipation of Trump’s defeat.
If he does lose, optimism could rise further, both here and abroad. In fact, his legacy may be that, in the end, he brought people together at an especially important time.
(Bloomberg) — Futures on U.S. stock indexes jumped after data published on a potential Covid-19 vaccine showed an encouraging response in a safety trial.
September contracts on the S&P 500 rose 1% as of 9:10 a.m. in Tokyo, while futures on the Nasdaq 100 climbed 0.7%. Results published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine said Moderna Inc.’s drug produced antibodies to the coronavirus in all patients tested in an initial safety trial.
“I think it’s very positive,” said Peter Mallouk, president and chief executive officer of wealth management firm Creative Planning. “What we have is reaffirming what the market thought about its general optimism about a timeline of an improvement.”
In the Moderna study, the neutralizing antibody levels produced were equivalent to the upper half of what’s seen in patients who get infected with the virus and recover, according to the results published Tuesday. The Moderna vaccine is one of the farthest along for Covid-19.
The after-hours surge came after a volatile two days of trading. After briefly reaching the highest levels since the Covid-19 swoon in March, the S&P 500 reversed to end Monday down 1%. Then Tuesday, after a series of swings, the benchmark finished the day up 1.3%.
The Nasdaq 100 closed Tuesday’s cash trading session up 0.8% to mark the first time since March that the tech-heavy gauge posted back-to-back reversals of at least 2% in opposite directions. Before this week, clusters of big contrasting reversals all occurred during bear markets.
The late day surge brought SPY, the ETF tracking the S&P 500, to $322 a share — close to the level reached on June 8 that has acted as solid resistance.
With a health-care crisis at the heart of the financial crisis and recession, investors are scrutinizing every piece of data on Covid-19 or high-frequency metrics on the recovery. The Moderna news fits on the positive side of the ledger.
“I’d classify the last few days as discount the bad and amplify the good,” said Max Gokhman, Pacific Life Fund Advisors’ head of asset allocation. “The Moderna news is positive and there’s no doubt that a proven vaccine is a major positive catalyst, so in keeping with the overall sentiment it makes sense that the markets would rally on the news.”
Still he added: “But also let’s be clear that the news we got is about positive progress, not any definitive proof of viability.”
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New study shows ‘robust’ immune response to trial vaccine, Moderna says
Moderna Inc. stock skyrocketed in premarket trade Wednesday, after the biotech company said its coronavirus vaccine candidate produced a “robust” immune-system response in a larger group of people and the study will move to a decisive clinical trial in July.
Results published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that a two-dose vaccination schedule induced the desired immune response in all 45 people evaluated, a larger group than in the preliminary data Moderna MRNA, +6.90%
released in May, and was generally safe and well-tolerated, the company said.
Shares of Moderna already rallied after-hours Tuesday. The company is a front-runner among several developing experimental COVID-19 vaccines.
The results “reaffirm the positive interim data” released back in May, Moderna said. The trial vaccine “induced rapid and strong immune responses against SARS-CoV-2,” the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
No serious adverse effects were reported, but some that did occur, such as headaches and fatigue, were “generally transient and mild to moderate in severity,” the company said.
Moderna is evaluating whether the participants’ immune responses are lasting, with participants followed for one year.
A Phase 3 study will start this month “to demonstrate our vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease,” Moderna said. It added that it remained on track “to be able to deliver approximately 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year” beginning in 2021.
Moderna last week said it had signed another manufacturing deal for the investigational vaccine, this time with Spain’s Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi. As part of the race for a coronavirus vaccine, drugmakers have scaled up their vaccine candidates’ production to hasten the time that it would take to distribute a working vaccine.
The new details about Moderna’s vaccine candidate emerged as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about a coronavirus vaccine relatively soon.
“We are in a pretty good place when it comes to a vaccine,” Fauci said at an event late Tuesday. “If things work out the way we hope they do,” a safe and effective vaccine would be ready for distribution by late 2020, beginning of 2021, he said. “I’m cautiously optimistic about that.”
Assuming that timetable is correct, the companies racing to develop a vaccine have promised that many doses will be available right away, Fauci said.
Shares of Moderna have nearly quadrupled this year, contrasting with losses around 1% and 7% for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.90%
and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.85%
in the same period.
A steep descent came after more bad news on the employment front.
The stock market has done well lately, but Thursday morning brought a quick reversal to its recent gains. New data showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits remained at elevated levels, with this week’s 1.31 million number extending a streak of more than 1 million claims every single week since mid-March. Just after 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 409 points to 25,658. The S&P 500(SNPINDEX:^SPX) had fallen 39 points to 3,131, and the Nasdaq Composite(NASDAQINDEX:^COMP) had dropped 69 points to 10,424.
Earnings season is just about to ramp up again, and a couple of companies got an early start on telling investors how they’re faring. Unfortunately, both Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) weren’t able to satisfy their shareholders. That could set a negative tone that could dampen hopes for a summer stock market rally.
Bad beyond expectations
Bed Bath & Beyond’s shares plunged 23% Thursday morning as investors reacted to its release of fiscal first-quarter results late Wednesday night. It wasn’t surprising to see the home goods retailer’s numbers come in weak, but the extent of that weakness shocked many who follow the stock.
Image source: Bed Bath & Beyond.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales plunged by nearly half during the quarter, with temporary store closures being the primary reason for the drop. Even an 82% rise in sales from the retailer’s digital channels wasn’t enough to ease the damage. The company lost more than $300 million, which was worse than most had expected.
It’s always a bad sign when a company leads its press release with a statement on its liquidity, and that’s what Bed Bath & Beyond did. The retailer assured investors that cash and short-term investments of $1.2 billion and a new $850 million asset-backed credit facility should help it weather the pandemic’s financial impacts. But investors are more worried that the problems that existed long before the coronavirus appeared could end up being insurmountable under current circumstances.
CEO Mark Tritton tried to focus on improved performance in June after the end of the fiscal quarter. However, Bed Bath & Beyond didn’t provide an outlook for the remainder of the year, and that signals continued uncertainty about how well the retailer will be able to recover.
Walgreens doesn’t look as healthy as hoped
For Walgreens Boots Alliance, today’s 10% drop is also related to COVID-19’s impacts. Fiscal third-quarter results showed signs of weakness, and Walgreens was careful to warn that there could be further damage from the pandemic in the rest of 2020.
COVID-19 cost Walgreens between $700 million and $750 million during the quarter, with most of the pain coming from non-U.S. operations. Just about all of that reduced revenue fell down to the operating income line, costing the company about $0.61 to $0.65 per share in prospective earnings. As a result, revenue inched higher by just 0.1%, and adjusted earnings per share plunged 44% from year-ago levels.
Interestingly, Walgreens’ domestic business held up reasonably well. U.S. retail pharmacy sales were higher on increased consumer spending on brand-name drugs and specialty prescriptions. However, the U.K. market remains extremely weak, and Walgreens warned that it could prove to be a headwind to results in the fiscal fourth quarter as well.
Investors are still weighing what net impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on drugstore retail chains like Walgreens. For now, though, they’re adopting a conservative view, and the stock price is adjusting lower as a result.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Stock in JD.com Inc. rose on its first day of trading in Hong Kong, as the Chinese e-commerce company completed a secondary listing to coincide with its flagship annual sales event.
JD.com is following bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Chinese online-gaming group NetEase Inc. in securing a secondary listing in Hong Kong. The offerings give the companies listings closer to their home market, and come as tensions have widened between the U.S. and China to include issues such as financial regulations and accounting standards.
On Thursday morning in Hong Kong, JD.com shares rose about 4.2% to HK$235.60, from an offer price of HK$226.
That helped bring the share price closer in line with that of its outstanding American depositary receipts, which closed Wednesday at a record high of US$62.01. Each depositary receipt is worth the equivalent of two Hong Kong shares. The U.S. stock has gained 76% this year.
The company, which counts Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Walmart Inc. among its shareholders, previously listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2014. It raised $3.9 billion from the Hong Kong stock sale. Underwriting banks have the option to increase the final deal size by 15%.
The trading debut coincided with the company’s annual June sales event, a summer equivalent of the Singles Day shopping festival Alibaba hosts in November every year.
The coronavirus pandemic has given Chinese e-commerce an extra boost as consumers shun physical stores for online purchases because of social distancing and travel restrictions. JD.com in May said it expected net revenue to grow 20% to 30% in the three months to June, after nearly 21% growth in the previous quarter. Both figures are year-over-year.
The secondary listing helps broaden JD.com’s shareholder base, making it easier for customers to become stockholders, and making trading hours more convenient for Asian investors.
NetEase and JD.com’s share sales come as the prospect of a Beijing-imposed national-security law raises questions about Hong Kong’s future as an international financial and commercial hub. Robust demand for the new shares has buoyed the Hong Kong dollar, prompting official intervention to stop the pegged currency strengthening too much.
The secondary listings are a boost for the stock-exchange operator, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., which has sought to lure more tech and health-care listings, partly by changing its listing rules. Investors can now buy and sell Hong Kong shares in five major Chinese tech firms: Alibaba, JD.com, Meituan Dianping, NetEase and Tencent.