Stocks were higher thanks to strong car sales in December and the release of the latest Federal Reserve notes showing that the December rate hike was heavily influenced by the market’s reaction to the election in November. The word “gradual” was conspicuously absent from the notes indicating the Fed might raise rates at a faster clip than initially indicated. At the close the Dow was up 60 points to 19,942. Trading volume was off from yesterday’s levels.
Stocks in car companies were higher today thanks to better than expected December sales. Ford surprised everyone by reporting a 0.3% increase in sales versus estimates calling for a 1.6% decline. The Ford F-series trucks had their best monthly sales tally in 11 years. GM, despite a tweet attack from Trump Tower, saw December sales up a whopping 10% versus estimates calling for a 0.7% increase. Fiat Chrysler saw its sales drop by 10% as strong truck sales were offset by weak car sales. This was still better than expected. Maybe they should give away one of those cute little Fiat 500s with each Dodge Ram purchase. It would be like….”buy a German Shepard and get a pug or toy poodle for free”.
Tesla shares also were higher even thought the company missed its vehicle delivery targets. Tesla made the big announcement that the gigafactory was finally up and running producing batteries for the upcoming Model 3 as well as the Power Wall. Maybe they could give away a Fiat 500 with each purchase of a Power Wall battery.