All three of the major indexes are trading in a very narrow range today, fluctuating from down just a few points to up just a few points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 25 points or 0.14%, the S&P 500 (SPY - Get Report) is up 0.9 points or 0.05% and the NASDAQ off by 5.4 points or 0.1%.
However, three stocks are making waves with shares up or down more than a few percent. Let's take a look at who they are, why they are trading so much different than the rest of the market and what shareholders should do about these moves.
Shares of the credit card company American Express are currently down $2.22 or 3.48% after the stock was hit with a downgrade. Bill Carcache, an analyst at Nomura, cut his rating on American Express today from Neutral to Reduce. Carcache expressed concerns about the credit card company pertaining to higher expenses, soft revenue, all mainly stemming from its lost relationship with Costco Wholesale. The coming quarter will be the first time American Express reports results since Costco cut the credit card company and switched to Visa.
Normura also cut its price target from $62 per share down to $56, which implies another 10% decline from the level the stock is trading at today. Long term oriented American Express investors need to relax and see how this transition away from Costco plays out. The earnings report may be ugly looking on a comp basis for the next 12 months, but American Express is a heathy company and should be able to ride out this downturn.
Costco is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells COST? Learn more now.
2. Whole Foods (WFM)
One shining star today is Whole Foods Market as the stock is up more than 5%. There is very little news pertaining to the company, but another grocery stock is also rising today, The Kroger Company (KR - Get Report) up 1.2%. Kroger's is likely higher because of the announcement that Walmart (WMT - Get Report) has plans to slow its store expansion and focus more on its online presence, technology and remodeling current stores.
Whether it's Kroger, Whole Foods, or any other grocery chain, a slower growing Walmart footprint is good. Online grocery purchasing has not yet taken off and is still in its very infant stage, so neither company needs to worry about Walmart stealing business unless it grows its store count. The 5% move from Whole Foods seems to be a little much for such an announcement, but the stock has been hammered this year and investors seem to just be celebrating even the smallest of victories.
Another downgrade is hurting our last stock, Tesla, which has lost $7.24 or 3.47% today. The electric car maker saw its stock rating lowered from buy to neutral at Goldman Sachs and the price target was lowered from $240 per share down to $185. The Goldman analyst noted the downgrade was partially due to the firms belief that the U.S. auto cycle peaked back in 2015 as well as concerns about Tesla's production capacity and the Model 3's delivery timeline in addition to cash flow issues. Many investors are viewing Tesla as a dangerous investment poised for collapse.
Furthermore, the capital that will be used to purchase SolarCity (SCTY) is concerning because of Tesla's own cash needs over the next few years. The analyst pointed out the fact that both tesla and SolarCity are high cash burn companies and a combined unit only increases their risk. Investors should take these warnings seriously and note the analyst's concerns, but at this point we still don't have 100% confirmation that Tesla will buy SolarCity or any reason to believe the Model 3 will have long delivery delays.
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