By Swissquote Analysts
Toyota Overtakes GM as Bestselling Auto Maker in U.S.
Topic of the day
Toyota Motor Corp. has for the first time overtaken General Motors Co. as the U.S.’s top-selling car company by annual sales, a change driven largely by a global computer-chip shortage that dealt an uneven blow to the car business. The Japanese auto maker, which for decades has worked to expand its presence in the U.S., outsold GM by roughly 114,000 vehicles in the full-year 2021. Toyota’s total U.S. sales of 2.3 million rose about 10% compared with 2020, the company said Tuesday. By contrast, GM reported a nearly 13% slide in results for a total of 2.2 million vehicles sold in 2021, as the semiconductor shortage took a bigger toll on its manufacturing operations and left dealers with fewer vehicles to sell. GM had been the No. 1 auto-seller in the U.S. since 1931, according to trade publication Automotive News. Toyota has largely benefited from its decision to stockpile computer chips, which are used in a wide array of vehicle electronics today. It bet earlier than most other auto makers on a recovering U.S. car market and cut parts and production orders less sharply than rivals, making it better prepared for an eventual surge in consumed demand. While Toyota executives say they were successful in navigating some of last year’s supply-chain constraints, they don’t view the lead over GM as a permanent shift in the industry’s closely watched sales rankings.
The Swiss stock market was again unable to keep pace with neighboring European stock exchanges on the second trading day of the new year. The leading index in Zurich lost 0.3 per cent to 12,901 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 11 price winners and 9 price losers. 34.52 (Monday: 27.14) million shares were traded. The SMI was led by shares in cyclical companies, as well as banks and insurance companies, because the companies in question are potential beneficiaries of the upward trend in market interest rates currently being observed. UBS gained 2.5 per cent and was the day's winner, Credit Suisse rose by 1.2, Swiss Re by 1.1 and Swiss Life by 1.5 per cent. Holcim improved by 2.2 per cent. The building materials group announced the completion of the acquisition of the US company Cowden, which strengthens Holcim's market position in the Northwest of the USA. The SMI was held back by pharmaceutical heavyweights Roche (-2.0 per cent) and Novartis (+0.2 per cent), which are considered less cyclical, as well as the shares of food giant Nestle (+0.2 per cent).
European equity indices closed at new highs on Tuesday, benefiting from the easing of fears about the Omicron variant and its economic repercussions. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.8% to a new high of 494 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 also closed at all-time highs, having gained 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively. The FTSE 100 gained 1.6% in the first session of 2022 on the London Stock Exchange. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gained 0.8%.Retail sales in Germany recorded a new record high in 2021, according to preliminary data by the country’s statistics office Destatis. Real retail sales were between 0.6% and 1.2% higher in 2021 than in 2020, depending on December’s data, Destatis said Tuesday. The resulting mean the on-year rate of change was 0.9% on a real basis. China’s economic pushback against the European Union over Lithuania’s outreach to Taiwan has sparked divisions in the EU and raised fresh doubts about its ability to shield its giant market from Beijing’s pressure. China in recent weeks has effectively blocked Lithuanian firms from its market and started pressing European and U.S. firms with Lithuanian suppliers to cut those ties or risk being frozen out, according to U.S. and European officials. The Chinese pressure came after Taiwan in November opened a representative office under the island’s name in Lithuania’s capital, a move Beijing called an “egregious precedent” and vowed to retaliate. Most Taiwanese offices abroad use the name of Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.
The Dow industrials closed at another record in 2022, while technology stocks weighed on the broad market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% to eclipse a record set Monday. The S&P 500 retreated less than 0.1% while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.3%. Shares of economically sensitive companies in the energy, financials and industrials sectors advanced, helping the blue-chip gauge outpace other major U.S. indexes. A retreat in big tech stocks, meanwhile, helped pull the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lower. Traders tend to pile into tech stocks when economic concerns mount, betting those shares can deliver growth. When the outlook brightens, they often rotate into companies that can harness themselves to a strong economy. Ford Motor Co. has doubled its goal for manufacturing its new electric version of the F-150 pickup truck, targeting 150,000 a year, the auto maker said Tuesday, sending its shares higher. Ford said the increased production plans reflect high demand for the model. About 200,000 reservations have been placed for the opportunity to order one of the trucks, the company has said. The first group of reservation holders will be able to place orders for the electric F-150 beginning Thursday, Ford said. Real estate owner CBRE Investment Management said it has agreed to buy a global portfolio of logistics properties valued at $4.9 billion, representing one of the largest sales ever of industrial property. The properties were built or are being developed by Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood Investment Properties, a real-estate business founded by the son of businessman and presidential candidate Ross Perot Sr.
In Asia, Chinese tech shares fell in Hong Kong trade, hit by concerns about new regulations and losses in the U.S. The Hang Seng dropped as much as 4.2% and hit an all-time low early Wednesday before paring its losses. The index, which tracks the 30 largest technology companies listed in the city, was 3.5% lower at the midday break.
10-year Treasury yields edged down in Asia after they jumped Tuesday--along with 30-year yields--to their highest since October, as fixed-income investors shook off worries about the trajectory of the pandemic. Demand for shorter-term debt sent the 2-year note yield down by the most in more than two weeks.
JP Morgan lowers the Schindler target to CHF 280 (290) – Neutral
JP Morgan raises the Lonza target to CHF 900 (850) – Overweight
Deutsche Bank raises the Synlab target to EUR 27 (26) – Buy
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