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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Apr 3, 2017 at 4:37PM

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Tesla and Panera Bread stocks stood out as indexes fell.

Stocks ticked lower on Monday, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.00%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 3.06%) indexes declining by less than 0.25%.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

(0.06%)

(13.01)

S&P 500

(0.16%)

(3.88)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks saw some of the heaviest trading and closely tracked the broader market as a group, which kept the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF 3.69%) lower by 0.2%. Meanwhile, a slight uptick in gold prices helped generate an almost 5% bounce for the leveraged Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NUGT 5.23%).

As for individual stocks, Tesla (TSLA 4.53%) and Panera Bread (PNRA) both attracted heavy investor interest that sparked market-beating daily stock price gains.

Screen showing a variety of winning and losing stocks.

Image source: Getty Images.

Tesla delivers for shareholders

Shares of Tesla jumped 7% after the electric car manufacturer announced delivery metrics for its fiscal first quarter. The company achieved 25,000 deliveries to mark a 69% increase over the prior-year period and a set new quarterly record. Tesla also revealed that it produced 25,418 vehicles in the quarter, which also set a record.

The sales figures put the company on track to meet the first phase of its 2017 targets, given that CEO Elon Musk and his team forecast deliveries of 47,000 to 50,000 Model S and Model X vehicles through the first six months of the year. Meanwhile, it's good news for shareholders that Tesla's growth is closely tracking management's expectations. The company missed its guidance at the last quarterly outing and, while its explanation pointed to temporary production problems, some investors worried that the miss had more to do with demand than supply. Instead, record delivery figures add weight to the company's claim that drivers are snapping up its luxury vehicles at a healthy pace.

Some of Tesla's biggest challenges lie ahead, though. Beginning in the second half of this year the company will ramp up production for its first mass-market automobile. It will significantly lower the company's average selling prices, since it should start at $35,000, or about half that of a Model S. But the Model 3's success will be pivotal to Tesla's goal of reaching a production volume of 500,000 vehicles per year by 2018.

Panera Bread's acquisition rumor

Panera Bread stock soared close to 8% following news that the company is exploring the possibility of a sale. The fast-casual restaurant chain is working with advisors to consider acquisition options after receiving takeover interest, according to Bloomberg. Panera didn't confirm or deny the report, telling Bloomberg only that its policy is to "never comment on rumors or speculation."

A Panera sandwich.

Image source: Panera Bread.

Panera shares were already riding high after the company posted a healthy 3% uptick in comparable-store sales and 10% higher fourth-quarter earnings in early February.

Menu changes, a kitchen redesign, and heavy investments into improving the guest experience have helped the chain build solid momentum lately. Comps rose to a 4.2% pace in 2016 from 3% in 2015 and 1.4% in the prior year.

 "The power of our multi-year strategic plan and the impact of our initiatives to transform Panera into a better competitive alternative with expanded runways for growth becomes ever-more clear with each passing quarter," CEO Ron Shaich told investors at the time.

It's impossible to know how seriously Panera is taking any potential acquisition ideas. Thus, investors are better off tuning out takeover speculation while continuing to watch for signs that the chain's heavy capital investments of the past few years have put the company back on track to return to the nearly $200 million of annual net income it reached in 2013 before profits sank to less than $150 million in the most recent year.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
TSLA
$737.12 (4.53%) $31.91
Panera Bread Company Stock Quote
Panera Bread Company
PNRA
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$30,677.36 (0.00%) $0.00
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$3,911.74 (3.06%) $116.01
Direxion Shares ETF Trust - Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares Stock Quote
Direxion Shares ETF Trust - Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares
NUGT
$40.44 (5.23%) $2.01
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund Stock Quote
The Select Sector SPDR Trust - The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund
XLF
$32.34 (3.69%) $1.15

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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