Plus, more signs of a sputtering U.S. economy stoked fears of a bigger economic slowdown and sent stock prices lower today.
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The Philadelphia Federal Reserve index of current manufacturing activity fell from a reading of 17 in January to (-4.1) this month — its first negative reading in almost three years. The Commerce Department also reported that core capital goods orders fell 0.7 percent in December versus an expected gain of 0.2 percent.
The dismal economic news sent all three major stock indexes down on the day with the Dow, off 0.4 percent, falling furthest. The Entrepreneur Index™ declined 0.52 percent as technology stocks, REITs and Tesla were sharply lower.
Tesla shares got hammered after the company’s new mass-market Model three sedan was trashed by Consumer Reports. The product-rating organization said it would no longer recommend the vehicle because of reliability issues raised by owners. A Tesla spokesperson told CNBC that many of those issues had been corrected since the Consumer Reports survey was conducted in the summer. The stock was nevertheless down 3.74 percent, the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.
The technology sector continued to struggle with twelve of thirteen stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ posting losses today. Twitter had the biggest decline in the sector, falling 1.94 percent. TripAdvisor Inc. also fell 1.84 percent. The stock is down 16 percent since the online travel website missed earnings estimates with financial results released last week. NVIDIA Corp. (-1.75 percent), was also down sharply, while Facebook and Alphabet Inc. fell 1.55 percent and 1.51 percent respectively. Salesforce.com, (0.29 percent), was the only tech stock on the index to post a gain today.
The REITs sector was also weak today, though not as broadly as yesterday when all nine REITs on the Entrepreneur Index™ declined. Extra Space Storage again had the biggest drop, falling 3.87 percent after a 3.14 percent decline yesterday. It reported financial results after the market close yesterday. The company topped funds from operations(earnings) estimates but missed slightly on revenues. Apartment Investment and Management Co. (-2.17 percent) was also down sharply. Simon Property Group, (1.63 percent), and Equity Residential, (1.62 percent), on the other hand, posted good gains.
Comcast had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, rising 1.8 percent. Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. (1.0 percent) and clothing-maker Ralph Lauren Corp. (0.73 percent) were also up nicely.
Ford Motor Co. fell 2.57 percent today. The stock was up sharply on Tuesday after the company announced it would stop making commercial trucks in South America, but remains mired below the $10 level. Down 28 percent since last June, the stock now has a very fat 6.9 percent dividend yield.
Other notable declines on the Entrepreneur Index™ today included L Brands, (-2.62 percent), Jefferies Financial Group, (-1.97 percent) and Bed Bath & Beyond, (-1.84 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.