The Federal Reserve Bank, as expected, did not raise interest rates today at its two-day March meeting. In fact, it probably won't hike rates for the rest of the year.
11 of 17 members on the Fed's Open Market Committee said they expected no interest rate increases this year, with many flagging signs of slowing growth in the U.S. and overseas as the reason. Investors weren't sure what to make of the Fed's very dovish -- and arguably bearish -- pivot. Many poured money into government bonds, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond down eight basis points to 2.53 percent. It is now just slightly above the higher range of the overnight Fed Funds rate.
The major stock indexes initially jumped after the Fed released its statement at 2:00, but faded through the afternoon. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes closed the day with losses of 0.55 percent and 0.29 percent respectively. Technology stocks, however, continued their recent good run, helping the Nasdaq Composite index post a small 0.07 percent gain and fueling a 0.56 percent rise in the Entrepreneur Index™.
The four FAANG stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ were back in the driver's seat in the tech sector. Facebook (2.4 percent), Amazon(1.97 percent) and Alphabet Inc. (2.06 percent), all had good gains today. Netflix, up 40 percent this year, jumped 4.58 percent today -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™.
Technical stock analysts think Netflix shares have further to run. The stock just executed a so-called golden cross, when a stock's 50-day moving average breaks above its 200-day average. It's a bullish signal according to technical gurus. Twitter was also up sharply, rising 4.16 percent. It has now returned 13.3 percent so far this year, topping the 12.7 percent gain in the S&P 500 index.
Hess Corp., up 3.38 percent today, had the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ outside the tech sector. Shares in the U.S. shale oil producer have soared this year along with the price of oil. Oil was up 1.85 percent today with West Texas intermediate crude closing above $60 per barrel for the first time since November. Production cuts by OPEC members, sanctions against oil producers Venezuela and Iran, and shrinking crude inventories in the U.S. are helping prices. Hess shares are up a torrid 48 percent this year.
Tesla had a notable gain today, rising 2.29 percent despite the ongoing battle between CEO Elon Musk and the SEC. Mr. Musk's lawyers want to submit more documents to a judge ruling on whether their client's frequent tweeting on Tesla-related subjects violated an agreement reached with the SEC last fall. Tesla stock is down 17.8 percent so far this year and analysts are now exceedingly bearish on the company. There are currently eighteen sell ratings on the stock versus one buy rating, according to data from TradingView.
Fedex had the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, falling 3.49 percent. The delivery giant reported financial results after the market close yesterday and missed both earnings and revenue estimates. It also lowered guidance for this year because of global trade tensions and slowing international business.
Other significant declines on the index today included clothing-maker Under Armour Inc. (-3.43 percent), retailers Bed Bath & Beyond (-2.65 percent) and L Brands, (-2.24 percent) Jefferies Financial Group (-2.23 percent) and Ford Motor Co. (-2.18 percent).
The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.