Tesla Price Target Almost Tripled: There is simply no ignoring Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA, +2.64%) as the electric car maker seems to be doing everything right. On Thursday, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised their price target on the Tesla stock from $65 to $180. That’s almost triple their original price target. Interestingly, until now, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been bearish about the company but now the bank has changed its tune and has stated that Tesla is in fact an “important catalyst" for the electric car and car industries. According to the analysts, Tesla shares still remain overvalued and because of this, the bank has maintained their rating at underperform. On Thursday, the shares of Tesla surged 2.7 percent to trade at $276.15, marking the highest price in the last ten months. In the last 3 months, Tesla shares have increased by 45 percent and this is significant compared to the gains of the S&P 500 Index (SPX, -0.18%) at only 0.6 percent over the same period. In other news, Tesla also reported their sales numbers for the 2nd quarter earlier in the day and the company stated that they had delivered a record number of Model S cars at a total of 11,507, up 52% from the year-ago period. The number was well above the company's estimate of 10,000 to 11,000 units.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks gave up early gains to end the trading day lower. This came in response to investor uncertainty regarding the debt crisis while a soft jobs report out of the U.S. did very little to boost stocks. Due to the Fourth of July holiday, the jobs report was released one day earlier and government data showed that for June, the economy added 223,000 new jobs while weekly jobless claims advanced to 281,000 up 10,000. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 0.3%, or 51 points, to 17,706. This blue chip index is on track for a weekly loss. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index (SPX) was also down 0.2%, or 5 points, to 2,072 and is set to post its 2nd straight weekly loss while the Nasdaq Composite index (COMP) also dropped 0.4%, or 17 points, to 4,994.
In currency trading on Thursday, the U.S. dollar (USD) traded lower. This came after the release of poor economic reports out of the U.S. which prompted expectations that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to increase interest rates at any time soon. According to the Commerce Department in the US, in the month of May, factory orders declined by 1.0 percent. This missed expectations for a decline of 0.5 percent. In a separate report, the Labor Department reported that in June, the economy added 223,000 jobs compared to May’s number which was revised from 262,000 to 254,000. Also, the rate of unemployment declined to 5.3% in June from 5.5 percent in May. Other data showed that for the week ending on the 27th of June, the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits increased to 281,000, up 10,000, up from the previous week’s total of 271,000. The EUR/USD traded at 1.1104, up 0.47% to while the GBP/USD held steady at a 2-and-a-half week low of 1.5615. Also, against the currencies in Japan, Canada and Switzerland, the greenback traded down with the USD/JPY down 0.09% to 123.06, the USD/CAD down 0.13% to 1.2573 and with USD/CHF down 0.55% to trade at 0.9432. Also, the U.S. dollar index was at 96.18, down 0.31%.
On Friday, crude oil prices took a sharp decline in early Asian trade. This came in response to investor sentiment that there are very few global demand triggers while volatility is expected in the markets next week as a result of the Greece debt crisis as well as the referendum which will take place over the weekend. Greece voters will go to the polls to decide whether to accept a bailout package from international creditors or not. WTI crude oil for delivery in August traded at $56.56 a barrel, down 0.66 percent, on the NYMEX. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Brent crude oil for delivery in August traded at $62.10 a barrel, up 0.15%, or 0.09 cents, on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London.
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