In the last few months, Ford (F), the second-largest US automaker, stock has traded on a mixed note. In February and March, the stock fell 0.3% and rose 0.1%, respectively, after gaining 15% in January. Ford stock posted its best first-quarter performance since 2012.
Best first-quarter performance since 2012
In the first quarter, Ford stock rose 14.8% compared to 13.1% gains seen in the S&P 500 Index. Other mainstream automakers (XLY) including General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), Toyota (TM), and Honda (HMC) ended the first quarter with 10.9%, 2.7%, 1.7%, and 2.7% gains, respectively.
Despite uncertainties about the outcome of ongoing US-China trade negotiations, better-than-expected 2018 US auto sales helped US auto companies outperform the broader market and post solid gains in January.
However, the auto industry’s (DVY) weak 2019 sales and earnings outlook hurt investors’ sentiments later during the quarter, which could be the main reason why some stocks were mixed in February and March.
While the first quarter was Ford’s best quarter in seven years, it was the best quarter in two decades for the S&P 500 Index.