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Why Ford Stock Has Risen More than 20% Year-to-Date

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Ford stock in 2018

The stock of Ford Motor Company (F), the second-largest US automaker, has underperformed the broader market in the last four years. In 2018, the stock fell 38.1% compared to the 6.2% fall in the S&P 500 Index.

In comparison, other mainstream automakers General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), Toyota Motor (TM), and Honda Motor Company (HMC) fell 18.4%, 18.9%, 8.7%, and 22.4%, respectively, last year. Investors’ concerns about Ford’s weak retail sales and lower profit margins have continued to worry investors.

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Outperforming its peers in 2019

Most auto stocks began 2019 on a positive note given the market’s solid price rally in January. In the first quarter of 2019, Ford stock rose 14.8%, while GM and Fiat Chrysler rose 10.9% and 2.7%, respectively.

Japanese automakers (XLY) Toyota and Honda traded on relatively weak notes and posted 1.7% and 2.7% gains, respectively, in the first quarter. In contrast, the American electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA), which outperformed the broader market and other automakers in the fourth quarter of 2018, fell sharply by 15.9% in the first quarter.

In 2018, US auto sales rose 0.3% after falling 1.8% in 2017, according to the data compiled by MarkLines. Better-than-expected 2018 auto sales boosted auto investors’ confidence in January, driving sharp gains in auto stocks. As of April 4, Ford stock has risen 5.2% to date in April, extending the gains it saw in the first quarter.

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