Dow Slips Nearly 2% After Adverse Weather Affects Business

Adverse weather in January had adverse effects on manufacturing and business figures, including the automotive industry.

Feb 3, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has slipped another 300 points, or 1.91%, by midafternoon after new numbers showed U.S. manufacturing activity slowed down last month. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 51.3 in January from 56.5 in December. That hovers just above the 50 mark that divides expanding activity from contraction. Many analysts cited adverse weather in January as impacting the manufacturing and business figures. The weather certainly seems to be behind some rough numbers from the automotive industry.

Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) posted figures showing that respective January sales in the U.S. declined 7% and 12% from the same month last year. Sales of Ford's three most popular vehicles, the F-Series, Fusion, and Escape, declined 0.7%, 7%, and 2%, respectively.

"Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did," John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales, and service, said in a press release. "In areas where the weather was good, such as in the West, sales were up. The poor weather also had an impact on the timing of some of our fleet deliveries."

Chrysler was the only Detroit automaker to post an increase in sales for January. Chrysler Group sold more than 127,000 vehicles in January, which was an 8% improvement from last year. That still checks in behind Ford and General Motors' sales totals of 153,494 and 171,486 in the U.S. market, respectively. Nissan led the industry for January, in terms of year-over-year comparisons, with a 12% gain to 90,470 vehicles sold last month. Toyota reported a 7% decline in January sales as well, with units down to 146,365.

On a positive note for the industry, analysts expect sales to catch up in coming months, weather permitting. Furthermore, TrueCar estimated that the average transaction price on vehicles in the U.S. rose 2.7% in January while incentives declined 3% -- making for a healthier first-quarter profit if the trend continues.

In other automotive news, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) proved it's beginning to overcome consumers' "range anxiety" by completing a 76-hour, cross-country trip in its popular Model S electric vehicle. It should be noted that currently you don't have too many options for a cross-country trip; however, compare the next two images to better understand how quickly one of Tesla's supercharger stations could be coming to an area near you by 2015.

Source: Tesla Motors

Tesla has 73 stations today, and by the end of this year 80% of the U.S. population and parts of Canada should have access to a supercharger station that can provide half of a full battery charge in as little as 20 minutes. Tesla plans to cover 98% of the U.S. population by the end of 2015, which will set the stage for a mass produced, and drastically more affordable, Tesla vehicle. 

Here Are 3 stocks long-term investors should hold forever
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information