A humorous look at the companies that caught our eye, for better or worse, this week
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOG)
What? Stocks don’t go up forever? Having been lulled into a false sense of security by a bull market that lasted more than a decade, investors hit the panic button this week as fears that the coronavirus will bring the global economy to its knees triggered the worst weekly sell-off since 2008. With the Dow officially experiencing a correction – defined as a drop of at least 10 per cent – and the Toronto Stock Exchange forced to close early on Thursday because of a “system capacity issue," investors are quickly discovering that the market has a dark side. Who knew?
China was supposed to usher in a new phase of growth for Tesla. But the electric car maker’s honeymoon with the Middle Kingdom may have already ended. The shares plummeted after Bloomberg reported that the number of new Tesla vehicles registered in China in January dropped 43 per cent from the previous month – before the coronavirus brought parts of the country to a halt and prompted Tesla to shut its new factory near Shanghai. After tumbling about 27 per cent from their peak, Tesla’s shares still trade at about 80 times estimated 2020 earnings, suggesting the skid may not be over yet.
Forget “Where’s the beef?” What Wendy’s investors want to know is “Where’s my money?” Even as the burger chain posted solid same-store sales growth of 4.3 per cent for the fourth quarter in North America, the stock got put through the meat grinder after the company’s 2020 profit forecast came up short of Wall Street estimates, in part because of aggressive ad spending to promote its breakfast launch. Worries that customers will shun restaurants and eat at home to avoid the coronavirus probably didn’t help the stock, either.
ProShares UltraPro Short S&P 500 ETF (STAR)
It was actually surprisingly easy to get rich this week. All you had to do was a) anticipate that all hell would break loose and b) put your life savings into an exchange-traded fund that bets against the market. The ProShares UltraPro Short S&P 500 ETF, for instance, is designed to deliver three times the inverse of the daily performance of the S&P 500 index, making it the ideal way to profit from the panic sweeping stock markets. Nitpickers will point out that when the market rises, you lose three times as much as everyone else gains, but let’s not get bogged down with details.
Royal Caribbean Cruises (DOG)
No thank you. We’re planning a staycation.