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How General Motors Stock Has Fared in Q1 2019 So Far

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Mar. 21 2019, Published 11:05 a.m. ET

The auto industry in 2018

After trading on a positive note in 2016 and 2017, the stock of the largest US automaker, General Motors (GM), ended 2018 on a negative note with a loss of 18.4%. 

Nearly all mainstream automakers underperformed the broader market last year due to weakening US auto sales and the negative impact of tariffs on their businesses.

In 2018, the S&P 500 Index fell 6.2%, while auto companies such as Ford Motor Company (F), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), Toyota Motor (TM), and Honda Motor Company (HMC) fell ~38.1%, 18.9%, 8.7%, and 22.4%, respectively. The broader market largely traded on a positive note in every quarter of 2018 except the fourth, when factors such as rising interest rates and America’s trade war (SPY) with China and European countries started taking a toll on market sentiments.

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GM stock’s performance in the first quarter

Auto stocks started 2019 on a strong note, with most legacy automakers outperforming the broader market in January. Better-than-expected 2018 US auto sales, which were slightly higher than sales in 2017, helped boost investors’ confidence. In January and February, GM stock rose 16.7% and 1.2%, respectively.

However, the stock has erased some of these gains in March. As of March 20, General Motors has fallen ~6.3% so far this month compared to the 1.4% gain in the S&P 500 benchmark. In comparison, Ford, TM, and HMC have fallen 3.0%, 1.1%, and 2.9%, respectively.

Before we take a look at one of the key drivers of GM’s recent losses, let’s take a quick look at the trend in its financials.

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