Ford stock falls on a downbeat outlook


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Last Week’s Highlights

Ford predicts hard times

Ford’s shares declined as the automaker’s quarterly earnings fell and the company predicted a tough year. The US-based company pointed to chip shortages and other supply chain problems as the main reasons for its drawbacks. On top of that, the company has also gone through production “instabilities” that drove up costs, along with lower-than-expected volumes. Ford CEO Jim Farley said on a call, “We have deep-seated problems in our industrial system … this has been humbling for both me and my team.” Another reason the company is in trouble is that one of its direct competitors, General Motors, had very strong announcements. GM reported higher net income in the fourth quarter, forecasted higher-than-expected profits for 2023, and said it will cut $2 billion in costs.

Tesla’s sales grow in China

During the first month of 2023, sales of electric vehicles manufactured in China will increase by 18%. According to the China Passenger Car Association, in January Tesla sold 66,051 electric vehicles made in China, up 18% from December’s 55,796 cars, and up 10% to last year’s January figure. The US company was the second best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer in China last month after BYD Co. shipped 150,164 cars. Now, Tesla plans to ramp up production at its Shanghai plant over the next two months to meet demand spurred by price cuts early last month on its best-selling models.

Coming Up This Week

Hard times ahead of Amazon

Amazon announced last Thursday that its operating profit could fall to zero in the current quarter because savings from layoffs do not offset the financial impact of lower consumer and cloud customers curtailing spending. Even though during the holiday season the company had revenues above Wall Street estimates, Amazon’s CFO says sales growth in its cloud business will slow in the coming quarters. Low spending by customers in the face of high inflation and recession fears worry Amazon, so the company’s CEO, Andy Jassy, said, “We’re going to help our customers find a way to spend less money …We’re trying to build a set of relationships in businesses that will last us all.” Amazon shares fell 5% in post-market trading after the close, wiping out most of the 7% gain it made before Thursday’s market close.

Apple hopes challenges to be over

Apple gave its forecast on Thursday that its revenue would fall for the second consecutive quarter, however, they expect iPhone sales to improve because production returned to normal in China after the Covid-related hiccups. Apple’s leaders were optimistic about sales of services and iPhones, so they tried to reassure investors. They assured that despite setbacks and variations in sales of its core product due to supply chain issues, the company will continue to climb, albeit at a slower pace. Apple went through a tough time as it unveiled some of the company’s worst financial results in years; in the last quarter of 2022, the tech company’s earnings missed Wall Street expectations for the first time since 2016. Despite the negative numbers, it would appear that the announcement of the return to normalcy with iPhone cell phone production and the exposure of CEO Tim Cook worked because Apple did not suffer as much and had modest share price declines.

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Market News

Wall Street’s major indices ended Friday’s session lower as rising employment raised doubts about the Federal Reserve. The indexes fell as economic data showed the economy added jobs at a brisk pace last month, catapulting fears that the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for a longer period to control inflation.

The Dow Jones index fell 127.93 points, or 0.38%, to 33,926.01, the Nasdaq Composite lost 193.86 points, or 1.59%, to 12,006.96, and the S&P 500 declined 43.28 points, or 1.04%, to 4,136.48. Ten of the eleven significant sectors of the S&P 500 fell; only energy stocks were in positive territory, thanks to higher oil prices.

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