Stocks were not feeling the love from investors on Valentine’s Day.
February 14, 2019 3 min read
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A shockingly bad retail sales figure for December (-1.2 percent vs. 0.2 percent estimate), released this morning, got things off to a bad start. Stock prices and U.S. Treasury bond yields fell sharply after the market opened, as worries about the U.S. economy and heavily indebted U.S. consumers resurfaced.
The retail sales data was so unexpectedly bad and so in conflict with other holiday season sales reports and economic data, that some economists think it could be wrong. Not out of the question given that the government shutdown may have affected data gathering activity at the Commerce Department.
Either way, the market got over its recession fears and recovered much of its losses later in the morning. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes closed were down 0.41 percent and 0.27 percent respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.09 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ finished the day down 0.16 percent.
Specialty retailer Bed Bath & Beyond continued its recent surge, rising 2.46 percent today — the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™. The retailer has been losing market share to Amazon and bigger brick and mortar competitors like Walmart for years. However, it did top earnings estimates by a penny when it last reported in early January and management recently said they expected earnings to be flat this year.
That’s apparently enough for value investors. The stock is up a remarkable 49 percent so far this year, though it’s still down 26 percent over the last twelve months. It currently has 18 buy ratings versus just three sells from Wall Street analysts, according to research firm TradingView.
The rest of the market was generally quiet. The technology sector was mixed with Netflix, (2.08 percent), posting the biggest gain. Amazon.com, which announced it would not build a headquarters in New York City because of local opposition, had the biggest decline, falling 1.06 percent.
Oil and gas producer Hess Corp. was up 1.91 percent, possibly lifted by good earnings results from competitor Marathon Oil yesterday. Hess also announced a promising oil discovery last week offshore of Guyana. Hess shares are up 41 percent this year.
TripAdvisor Inc. bounced 1.44 percent today after falling nearly six percent yesterday when it reported weak earnings. Retailer O’Reilly Auto Parts was also up 1.49 percent.
Wynn Resorts had the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, falling 3.23 percent. Remarkably resilient gambling business in Macau has buoyed Wynn’s stock of late, although fears of a slowing Chinese economy continue to make the stock swing. It is up 25 percent so far this year.
Other notable declines on the Entrepreneur Index™ included conglomerate Loews Corp. (-1.9 percent) and food-maker J.M. Smucker Company, (-2.11 percent). The REITs were also generally down on the day. Macerich Company, (-1.58 percent), and SL Green Realty Corp. (-1.41 percent) had the biggest declines.
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.