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S&P 500 ends lower as Tesla falls, while energy rallies

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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., May 12, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Amruta Khandekar and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 ended lower on Monday, with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and other growth stocks losing ground after downbeat Chinese economic data added to worries about a global slowdown and rising interest rates.

China’s economic activity cooled sharply in April as widening COVID-19 lockdowns took a heavy toll on consumption, industrial production and employment, adding to fears the economy could shrink in the second quarter.

However, energy stocks got a lift from optimism that China would see significant demand recovery after positive signs that coronavirus pandemic was receding in the hardest-hit areas.

The S&P 500 energy index rallied to a 2014 intra-day high, and it closed up 2.6%, making it the strongest performer among 11 sector indexes.

Investors questioned whether a strong day on Wall Street last Friday might signal the end of a recent sell-off that has left the S&P 500 down about 16% from its record high close in January.

“After the big rally on Friday, people are looking around and asking whether it feels sustainable,” said Ross Mayfield, an investment strategist at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky. “Does it feel like the momentum thrust you would see coming off of a low, or is there still more of a capitulation to be worked out?”

Many of Wall Street’s megacap growth stocks were lower, with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) losing more than 1% and weighing on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) fell more than 8% after Bloomberg reported that Elon Musk said a deal to buy the social media company at a lower price than his previously agreed $44 billion was “not out of the question.”

Tesla, which Musk leads, fell almost 6%.

The S&P 500 healthcare sector index rose 0.7%, lifted by a 2.7% jump in Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE:LLY) after the drugmaker won U.S. approval for tirzepatide, to treat adults with type 2 diabetes.

Graphic: S&P 500 components – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/lgpdwemagvo/SPX_by_marketcap.png

Investors have been worried that aggressive interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve to combat decades-high inflation could tip the economy into a recession, with the conflict in Ukraine, supply chain snarls and the pandemic-related lockdowns in China exacerbating the economic troubles.

Data on Monday showed factory activity in New York state slumped in May for the third time this year amid a collapse in new orders and shipments.

Traders are now pricing a near 86% chance of a 50-basis-point hike by the Fed in June.

Unofficially, the S&P 500 declined 0.39% to end the session at 4,008.01 points.

The Nasdaq declined 1.20% to 11,662.79 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.08% to 32,223.42 points.

Investors are focused on retail sales data due on Tuesday, following worrying inflation and consumer sentiment data last week.

Retailers including Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) are due to report their quarterly results this week.

Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) rallied 13.5% after JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) launched a hostile takeover bid for the discount carrier. JetBlue shares slipped 6.1%, while shares of rival bidder Frontier Group gained almost 6%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.35-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 31 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 17 new highs and 190 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.3 billion shares, compared with a 13.2 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

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Easing chip shortages to help Volkswagen in H2 – CEO

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logo is pictured at the 2022 New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p) sees a strong second half of 2022 and expects progress in catching up with rival Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as easing chip shortages start to offset supply chain bottlenecks and rising costs, the carmaker’s CEO said on Tuesday.

“We are earning more than ever,” Chief Executive Herbert Diess said at a works meeting, adding Volkswagen is ramping up electric vehicle volumes in its biggest markets in Germany and China thanks to easing semiconductor shortages.

This should allow the carmaker to narrow the Volkswagen-Tesla gap this year and meet its goal of becoming market leader by 2025 if it seizes the moment while the U.S. electric car maker burns cash on large investments, the CEO said.

“Elon (Musk) has to ramp up two highly complex factories in Austin and Gruenheide at the same time – as well as expand production in Shanghai. That’s going to take strength out of him,” Diess said.

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Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani steps down as director of telecom arm

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, arrives to address the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, India July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has stepped down as director of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the conglomerate’s telecom arm said on Tuesday.

Reliance Jio said https://refini.tv/3Nrs773 it has appointed Mukesh’s son and non-executive director Akash Ambani as the chairman of its board. Akash has been involved with the telecom unit since its launch in late 2016, where he started as a director.

India’s telecoms sector had been upended after the entry of Jio, which triggered a price war that forced some rivals out of the market and turned profits into losses.

Jio, which started out offering mobile teleservices, has been aggressively investing in services like internet broadband and forging ties with handset makers to launch low-cost smartphones and providing 5G services.

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UBS Downgrades Ebay, Farfetch to Neutral on Guidance Risks

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© Reuters. UBS Downgrades Ebay (EBAY), Farfetch (FTCH) to Neutral on Guidance Risks

By Senad Karaahmetovic

UBS analyst Kunal Madhukar downgraded shares of Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH) and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) to Neutral from Buy.

EBAY shares are cut alongside the price target (to $48.00 from $60.00 per share) despite low expectations. Still, the analyst expects 2022 GMV to fall by 17%, which is worse than the guidance of 16%-14% and the Street’s consensus of 15%.

“We think the buy side may already be lower than the Street. YTD, the stock has been one of the better performers within the eCommerce space, benefiting from both a ~2% dividend yield and aggressive share repurchases. However, when the market rebounds, we think EBAY shares could lag smaller cap peers (which are likely to grow much faster in a recovery) until investors have better visibility into organic growth at eBay. Consequently, we think the shares likely will remain range-bound until visibility improves,” Madhukar told clients in a note.

The price target on Farfetch shares goes to $10.00 from the prior $13.00 as Madhukar sees too optimistic assumptions for growth from the side of the company’s management.

“In addition to slower growth, we think upside is limited by lack of visibility into key drivers of value, including FPS volumes and economics, as well as on China. Granted, the YNAP deal could be a positive catalyst (link), but if the disclosure is limited (like with the recent deal with Neiman Marcus Group or NMG), it may be challenging for investors to understand if it creates shareholder value or not. Last, FTCH remains a profitless-tech company in an environment where investors are acutely focused on profits, and thus, there is limited valuation support,” the analyst added.

Similar to eBay, Madhukar sees shares remaining “range-bound until we have better visibility into growth and/or the path to profitability.”

Shares of eBay and Farfetch are down 2.4% and 2.2%, respectively, in pre-market Tuesday.

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