Weekly Performance Review March 8th – 12th, 2021

Stocks moved broadly higher for the week, lifting most of the major benchmarks to new records. Investors seemed to remain focused on fluctuating longer-term bond yields and the discount they place on future earnings, resulting in substantial swings in the technology-oriented Nasdaq Composite Index.  Shares in heavily weighted automaker Tesla rebounded after the previous week’s sell-off, lifting the consumer discretionary sector.  The small real estate sector also outperformed within the S&P 500, while health care and energy shares lagged.  The small-cap Russell 2000 Index outperformed and extended its recent market leadership, ending the week up roughly 19% on a price (excluding dividends) basis for the year to date.

The Nasdaq gave back some of its gains after Treasury yields bounced back Friday to end higher for the week.  (Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.) The broad municipal bond market posted strong gains through most of the week as cash flowed back into the market and new issuance remained relatively modest.  Investor sentiment appeared to be supported by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, which includes substantial fiscal relief for state and local governments and other municipal borrowers.  The headline deal of the week, California’s USD 1.8 billion general obligation and refunding bond sale, was met with strong demand and repriced to lower yields.

Continue reading for a peak at how our trades did for the week.

03-08-2021_F up 7.91%

Ford (F) stock has been bolstered by the firm taking a more aggressive stance on investments in electric vehicles and other technology.

Spending in electric and autonomous vehicles will total $29 billion through 2025, more than double prior guidance of $11.5 billion. Of the $29 billion, Ford will spend $22 billion on EVs and $7 billion on autonomy.

“We are accelerating all our plans – breaking constraints, increasing battery capacity, improving costs and getting more electric vehicles into our product cycle plan,” CEO Jim Farley said when the firm posted earnings in February.

03-08-2021_LVS down 0.90%

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) recently announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell its Las Vegas real property and operations, including The Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Center (collectively, “The Venetian”) for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6.25 billion.  The move is part of a strategic reinvestment plan to boost revenues and shareholder returns.  

“Our long-held strategy of reinvesting in our Asian operations and returning capital to our shareholders will be enhanced through this transaction.  Additionally, as our industry continues to evolve, particularly as it relates to the digital marketplace, we are committed to exploring those possibilities,” said Patrick Dumont , the company’s president and chief operating officer.

03-08-2021_LYSCF up 7.61%

The need for rare earth minerals from non-Chinese sources has become so dire President Biden signed an executive order on supply chain security, noting,  “From rare earths in our electric motors and generators to the carbon fibre used for aeroplanes – the United States needs to ensure we are not dependent upon foreign sources or single points of failure in times of national emergency.”

Lynas Rare Earths (OTC: LYSCF) is only one of two companies in the world who have rare earth processing capacity that is not located in China.  

The company has a partnership with private Blue Line Corp. to develop rare-earths processing plants in Texas because we can’t be independent if we’ve got to send our rare earths to China for processing.

The joint venture has been chosen to receive funding by the Pentagon from the DPA to the tune of $30.4 million  to “build a Texas facility to process specialized minerals used to make weapons, electronics, and other goods,” as reported by Reuters.  

03-09-2021_NTAP up 6.54%

NetApp (NTAP) produces storage devices for networks.  It went through the 1990s dot-com bubble under the name Network Appliance.  It reconfigured itself into  a hybrid cloud company during the 2010s, and it now competes with the likes of International Business Machines (IBM) and EMC.  They provide a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation.    

NetApp has focused more on software than hardware recently, creating services such as Active IQ, which allows users to gain insights via machine-learning algorithms and spend less time managing infrastructure.  

03-10-2021_DIS up 1.36%

Disney (DIS) showed it is bouncing back after crushing fiscal first-quarter estimates. The surprise profit came as the number of streaming subscribers jumped. Disney recently announced that its flagship streaming platform has surpassed 100 million users, just 16 months after its launch, quickly establishing the service as Netflix’s biggest competitor.  During the pandemic, the streaming service has been a bright spot for Disney stock, and big plans are ahead. 

03-11-2021_FUTU up 0.31%

Known as the “Robinhood of China,” Futu Holdings (FUTU) has over 10 million users with total assets under management of $10 billion.  

Unlike many early-stage, tech companies, FUTU is already profitable. Over the last 12 months, FUTU earned $105 million in earnings, and it expects earnings growth of 67% in 2021. 

03-12-2021_AWAY up 2.57%

The ETFMG Travel Tech ETF (AWAY) is the first ETF to provide access to technology-focused global travel and tourism industry. The investment seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return performance of the Prime Travel Technology Index NTR. 

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