The sun's shining and the Mets are already losing baseball games -- it must be the beginning of the second quarter. Stocks started April with spring in their step, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) popped 75 points Tuesday on solid car and manufacturing data.
So who's winning? The house. Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) both have major properties in Macau, and both stocks partied their way up over 2.4% Tuesday on China's report.
The takeaway is that Macau's gambling industry is growing so quickly, it's only a matter of time before Britney Spears and Cirque de Soleil partner up for a multi-decade, hip-hop trapeze show on the Chinese peninsula. In a statement Tuesday, Las Vegas Sands' Adelson made clear that his Macau resorts were earning more than his Las Vegas ones. For Wynn, net revenue was nearly three times greater in Macau than Vegas in the last quarter of 2013.
For all you political gurus out there, keep in mind that Macau is actually one of two "Special Administrative Regions" of China (the other is Hong Kong). The former Portuguese colony was transferred to China's control in 1999, under the condition that it remain fairly independent until at least 2049 (Macau's got its own legal system, police, and cool green flag). And China's been able to sit back and let the peninsula flourish with gambling and tourism activity.
Unlike most other industries, investors can track auto companies on a monthly basis, since U.S. auto sales are reported by the carmakers the first week of the month. That's as real-time as it gets on Wall Street (like a 24 Episode), considering you need to wait for the quarterly reports to learn whether Netflix added your dog as a subscriber (yet).
General Motors delayed their results since they're busy with something right now (recalling millions of vehicles for safety hazards). The CEO Mary Barra defended the company's 10-year negligence before the House Tuesday, and investors finally pushed the General Motors (NYSE:GM) stock down 0.3% Tuesday despite the delayed report that sales climbed 4%.
Frozen car-buyers coming out of hibernation in March might have caused a positive blip for car sales in March, but we'll have to wait and see if it was pent-up demand or positive growth in the industry. The biggest grower continues to be Chrysler, whose 13% sales growth in March was market-leading -- European-based Fiat S.p.A. climbed 4.4% on the news that its smoking hot American baby continues to make market share gains.
3. U.S. manufacturing rebounds from the cold
The takeaway is that March was cold (we could have played pond hockey in downtown Manhattan street puddles), but it wasn't as brutally Arctic-like as February. The ISM report specifically showed that production and deliveries improved the most over the past month after February's manufacturing activity was weighed down by the freezing/blizzarding weather.
- The ADP March Jobs Report
- Two Fed Presidents spea