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How Have Auto Stocks Performed in April So Far?

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Apr. 17 2017, Published 4:31 p.m. ET

The US auto industry

In 1Q17, US auto sales fell by about 1.5% on a YoY (year-over-year) basis. Despite softening US auto sales, the majority of mainstream automakers’ stocks except for Ford Motor Company (F) ended the quarter in positive territory. Low oil prices drove higher sales of truck and utility vehicles while the demand for small cars continued to be lower at the same time. Now, let’s take a quick look at how auto stocks have traded in April so far.

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Auto stocks in April

April 2017 began on a negative note for mainstream US automakers. As of April 13, General Motors (GM), the largest US automaker, has lost about 5.6% on a MTD (month-to-date) basis. Investors’ lower expectations for GM’s upcoming earnings due to its stagnating US sales could be the primary reason for these negative sentiments on Wall Street. These losses were much higher than the S&P 500 Index’s (SPY) 1.4% loss in April so far.

Similarly, Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and Ford (F) also have underperformed the broader market by a big margin. On a MTD basis, FCAU and Ford have fallen 11.3% and 4.6%, respectively.

In contrast, Tesla (TSLA) stock has managed to remain in positive territory with a 9.2% increase in April so far. Tesla’s strong 1Q17 deliveries and production figures could be the primary reason for these gains in April.

Series overview

Read March US Auto Sales: Could the Road Ahead Be Bumpy? for more information. In this series, we’ll explore what Wall Street analysts are recommending for auto stocks in April 2017. We’ll also take a quick look at analysts’ estimates for auto companies’ 1Q17 earnings.

In the next part, we’ll take a look at analysts’ recommendations for Ford’s stock in April.

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