The Dow continued to move higher gaining 98 points to 24,922 on heavier trading volume. The Dow is now only 78 points from hitting the 25,000 mark. The S&P 500 closed above the 2,700 mark for the first time ever. Big cap tech stocks led the way.
Car sales for December were lower but came in above estimates. Ford (Fix Or Repair Daily) had a good year as F150 truck sales increased 9.3%. Ford also ended the year with 68 days of inventory compared to 73 days last year. GM ended the year with 63 days inventory down from 83 days last year. While sales at GM were off by 3.3% yoy this was better than expected. Fiat Chrysler had a 10.7% sales drop YOY which was not as bad as expected. Fiat sales were off over 33% while Chrysler sales were up 3%. For all car companies combined, total car and truck sales in the US were down about 3.5% in 2017 but the product mix changed as less profitable car sales fell while high margin SUV and truck sales were up.
Dominion Energy, the big electric and gas utility in Virginia which services the Washington DC area announced it was buying Scana which is an electric and gas utility serving North and South Carolina in a deal valued at $7 billion. Shares of Scana were hammered in 2017 losing over half their value thanks to a failed effort to build a nuc power plant but today’s news sent Scana’s stock up 22%. Dominion will step in, clean up the nuc mess, get access to hydro power and expand their brand. Dominion’s main generating asset is rumored to be the halls of Congress where hot air is converted to steam which in turn generates electricity for the entire eastern seaboard. It is the one truly endless supply of energy. Haha!