Stocks rose in a shortened pre-holiday session Wednesday, opening higher and gaining ground throughout the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) both set records for closing highs, the first record close for the Dow since last fall. All sectors of the market moved up, with real estate and consumer staples in the lead.
Today's stock market
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Tesla meets guidance for vehicle deliveries
Tesla reported record second-quarter vehicle production and deliveries, and shares of the electric-auto maker jumped 4.6%. The company produced 87,048 vehicles in Q2, up from 77,100 last quarter, and delivered 95,200 vehicles, compared with 63,000 in Q1.
Most of the growth came from the Model 3, which had a 17% sequential jump in production after an increase of only 3% last quarter. But deliveries of Models S and X made a comeback after disappointing results in Q1, growing 46% to 17,650. Tesla delivered 77,550 Model 3 units in the quarter. The company had said to expect between 90,000 and 100,000 total vehicles delivered in Q2, so the actual number of 95,200 fell right in the middle of guidance, but above the expectations of many skeptical observers.
Tesla bears have been concerned that demand for its vehicles is waning, but the company provided some evidence to the contrary. Orders generated in the quarter exceeded deliveries, so its backlog has increased. "We believe we are well positioned to continue growing total production and deliveries in Q3," Tesla said in the press release.
Canopy Growth shakes up its leadership
Canopy Growth, the largest marijuana company by market capitalization, announced that co-CEO and board member Bruce Linton will be leaving both roles, effective immediately. Shares of Canopy opened lower after the announcement, but investors apparently decided the news wasn't such a bummer after all, and the stock closed up 2.5%.
Co-CEO Mark Zekulin will become the sole chief executive of Canopy Growth, but not for long. The press release said that Zekulin will assist the board in identifying a new leader "to guide the company in its next phase of growth." The board also appointed John Bell, the lead independent director, as the new chairman of the board.
Canopy disappointed investors with its results last quarter, reporting a huge loss of 323 million Canadian dollars and a sequential decline in recreational marijuana sales. Probably no investor was more unhappy than Constellation Brands, the U.S. beverage company that's put $4 billion into its partner in the marijuana industry and has two seats on the board. Constellation CEO Bill Newlands, one of those two Canopy directors, was unusually blunt in his company's earnings conference call, saying Constellation was "not pleased" with the quarter, and that assessment surely played a part in the shake-up today.