Stock Market Today: Turnaround Wednesday?; GM Against Tesla


After a record down day last week, we saw a record up day on Monday. However, that bullish momentum quickly waned on Tuesday, despite the Federal Reserve announcing a 50-basis-points cut. Buyers stepped back up on Wednesday, driving the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite up by about 4% at one point in the stock market today.

Stock Market Today

That’s as investors continue to digest the recent decline in equities, the Fed cut and now Joe Biden’s surge in the polls. After Super Tuesday, it effectively leaves Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race.

The markets view Biden more positively than Sanders, in that Biden comes across as more market-friendly. For what it’s worth, the S&P 500 was included in our Top Stock Trades list for Wednesday.

Updated Outlooks

A number of companies have come out with an update on their businesses. AT&T (NYSE:T) was one of those companies, with shares rising over 5% in response.

In an update to shareholders, AT&T reiterated its 2020 guidance and announced a $4 billion accelerated buyback plan. Based on expectations for 5G growth, along with the May launch of its HBO Max wireless service, revenues are expected to grow more than 2% in 2020. Mobility will still be the company’s biggest driver of profitability and revenue growth, though. The 5G network should roll out by the end of the second quarter and will cover more than 80 million people.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) had a similar, long-term tone. The company reiterated its 2020 outlook, however said the coronavirus from China will impact first-quarter free cash flow by $300 million to $500 million.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) shares ripped higher by about 7%, after the company said its prior guidance is still intact despite the coronavirus outbreak. That announcement comes after Visa (NYSE:V) recently said it would see current-quarter sales fall 2.5% to 3.5% and was unsure about future impact.

Uber (NYSE:UBER) says the coronavirus has had a slight impact on the Uber airport ride-hailing business. However, Uber Eats should see an uptick in activity as a result of the virus. The countries with the highest infection numbers are less than 1% of gross bookings, management added. Finally, the company still expects to be EBITDA profitable by the fourth quarter.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

Just because Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has garnered more than triple the market capitalization that General Motors (NYSE:GM) has — $137 billion against $44.5 billion — isn’t stopping the latter from beefing up its electric vehicle game.

At its EV Day, GM announced that it plans to invest $20 billion by 2025 in electric and autonomous vehicle tech. CEO Mary Barra stated that the company’s goal is to be selling 1 million electric vehicles in the U.S. and China by 2025.

Adam Jonas also weighed in on GM, naming it his top auto pick. While Tesla is forecast to grow electric vehicle sales four-fold by 2030, he expects 30-fold growth for GM. Despite that, he points out that TSLA trades at 30 times 2021 EBITDA estimates. GM trades closer to two times EBITDA estimates.

A low valuation plus plenty of electric vehicle potential equals a buy in Jonas’ mind.

Ford’s (NYSE:F) also upping its electric vehicle game. The company is building an all-electric Transit van for its U.S. market.

ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) originally inherited Simon & Schuster in 1994 with the acquisition of Paramount Communications. Now it will be selling the Simon & Schuster publishing branch. CEO Bob Bakish states that the publisher is “not a core asset” to the company.

Wedbush sees Domino’s (NYSE:DPZ) as the least affected by coronavirus-induced earnings revisions risk, followed by Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) and Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK). Coming in with the highest risk of an earnings hit from the coronavirus outbreak is BJ’s Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI), followed by Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK) and Del Taco (NASDAQ:TACO).

While restaurant share prices are down since mid-February, the analysts feel like the selling could be an overreaction.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of  Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long T and V. 

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