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What’s in a name? A lot more money if you’re Verisign Inc.
The Virginia-based company, which registers internet domain names, came to a much-awaited agreement with the government, allowing it to increase fees up to 7 percent for “.com” addresses. Wall Street analysts immediately upgraded the stock and it was up as much as 25 percent in early trading. It closed with a gain of 17.19 percent — the biggest on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.
Unfortunately, every other tech stock on the index — except Cognizant Technology (up 1.05 percent) — was down on the day. The Entrepreneur Index™ as a whole declined 0.23 percent.
Tech bellwether Apple Inc. failed to add fuel to the post-October rally with financial results it reported last night. It shipped fewer iPhones in the third quarter than expected. It also spooked analysts by announcing it would no longer break out sales figures for products like the iPhone and Mac computers going forward.
Apple was down 6.6 percent, a big factor in the 1.04 percent drop in the Nasdaq composite index. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes fell by 0.43 percent and 0.63 percent.
Investors seemed ambivalent about further evidence of a hot economy. Jobs and wages data released this morning confirmed that the U.S. economy is still firing on all cylinders. Non-farm payrolls were up 250,000 vs. estimates of 190,000, and average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent in October, the biggest jump since early 2009.
If wage pressure has finally gathered steam in the economy, higher inflation and more Federal Reserve rate hikes may be around the corner. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond spiked more than seven points to close at 3.22, just shy of its early October peak for the year.
Interest rate sensitive stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ struggled. High dividend paying real estate investment trusts, some of the better performers in the last two volatile weeks, were down sharply. Extra Space Storage (-3.5 percent), Macerich Company (-2.74 percent) and Kimco Realty (-1.39 percent) all declined. Capital One Financial also fell 2.27 percent.
Oil and gas producer Hess Corp.continued to slide along with the price of oil. Crude prices fell below $63 a barrel today, their lowest level in seven months. Hess’s stock fell 2.59 percent and is now down nearly 25 percent in the last month. It is still up 19 percent for the year.
J.M. Smucker posted the biggest decline on the index today, falling 3.69 percent. Food company stocks were down as a group after Kraft Heinz missed earnings estimates today. The company blamed higher input costs,(ie inflation), for its poor profits.
Bed Bath & Beyond (3.59 percent) had one of the bigger gains on the index today. The specialty retailer is up more than 7 percent in the last two days, though down 33 percent in the year to date.
Clothing makers and retailers Ralph Lauren (1.19 percent), L Brands (1.17 percent), Under Armour Inc. (1.59 percent) and Gap Inc. (2.35 percent) all had gains on the day.
The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.