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September 2017: Top 5 Auto Stocks by Wall Street Ratings

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Auto stocks so far in 3Q17

The majority of auto stocks have outperformed the broader market so far in 3Q17. As of September 25, 2017, mainstream automakers General Motors (GM), Ford Motor (F), and Toyota Motor (TM) have risen 15.4%, 6.7%, and 15.2%, respectively, QTD (quarter-to-date). Honda Motor (HMC), the second-largest Japanese automaker, has risen 9.3% QTD gains.

Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), the Italian-American automaker, has had a significant rise of 65.4% QTD. Ferrari, the Italian luxury carmaker, has risen 28.0% QTD.

By comparison, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) has risen ~3.0% QTD, a much smaller gain than the above auto stocks.

In contrast, Tesla (TSLA), the US electric carmaker, has fallen 4.6% QTD. But it’s still maintaining its massive year-to-date rise of 61.4%.

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Top 5 auto stocks by Wall Street ratings

In the first seven months of 2017, total US auto sales have softened. On the brighter side, low oil prices are still continuing to boost US truck sales, and that’s lowering the negative impact of a sharp fall in small car sales. According to Autodata, US car sales have fallen 11.3% in the first seven months, while US truck sales have risen 3.3%.

Higher truck sales could be positive for mainstream automakers’ profitability as trucks and SUVs (sport utility vehicles) tend to yield higher profit margins.

In this series, we’ll take a look at Wall Street analysts’ recommendations for auto stocks and look at the top five auto stocks based on their “buy” ratings. The auto companies we’ll be covering are General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Tesla, Ferrari, Toyota, and Honda. We’ll also cover motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson. In addition, we’ll look at some key recent developments for these companies in the last few months.

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