Summary

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up to its ninth record closing high in a row while the S&P 500 index ended the day on Monday slightly higher, with consumer and technology sector gains offsetting losses in energy.

Yet trading volume was relatively light as investors had little reason to make big bets with Congress and President Trump on vacation and a stronger-than-expected earnings season drawing to a close.

Many that were looking to invest were doing what has been the rage of late and is to find underperforming companies that have little or no analyst coverage.

Robust second-quarter earnings have sent the broader market upward in recent weeks and a strong July employment report on Friday added to positive sentiment.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the S&P 500 earnings will likely have expanded 12 percent in the second quarter and projected earnings for the September quarter are up 9.3 percent.

Whenever the markets reach upwards there are those who are concerned the increase is too high or comes too rapidly and you therefore can expect a pullback. Yet, their data is the same as those who say the markets can continue to rise. It is only a matter of interpretation and really no one has the answer.

Yes, the S&P, is up about 11 percent this year and is trading at about 18 times expected earnings, compared to its 10-year average of 14, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

The S&P’s consumer staples index, up 0.7 percent, and its technology index, up 0.6 percent, were the S&P 500 index’s leading sectors on the day.

In coming days, investors will scrutinize quarterly results from retailers in light of competition from Amazon.

Wal-Mart rose almost 1 percent. Tyson Foods, one of the consumer staples sector’s biggest gainers on Monday, rose 5.7 percent after the company reported greater-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales.

The energy sector led the laggards with a 0.9 percent drop as oil prices edged lower on a rebound in production from Libya’s largest oil field, along with worries about higher output from OPEC and the United States.

Approximately 5.29 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared with the 6.13 billion share average for the last 20 trading sessions.

Tesla Tapping the Junk Bond Market

Tesla plans to raise approximately $1.5 billion through its first-ever high-yield junk bond offering, as it seeks fresh sources of cash to ramp up production of its new Model 3 sedan. The debt offering marks Tesla’s debut in the junk-bond market and the company will start road-shows on Monday.

Tesla has been riding high on investor expectations that its Model 3 will be a mass-market hit, with shareholders pushing its market value above that of General Motors and Ford. However, Tesla has yet to make an annual profit and its stock is a favorite among short-sellers, who continue to bet Tesla will fall short of its shareholders’ high hopes.

So far, Tesla has been raising money to pay its bills with a combination of equity offerings and convertible bonds, which eventually convert into shares. In March, the company raised $1.4 billion through a convertible debt offering.

Following the announcement, Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed its negative outlook for the automaker and assigned a “B-” rating for the bond issue. Moody’s assigned a junk “B3” rating to the bond issue and said the company’s rating outlook was stable.

The latest effective yield on single-B rated bonds maturing in seven to eight years, the class for a Tesla issue, is around 5.5 percent, according to Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Fixed Income Index data.

Tesla’s bond will price later this week after several days of meetings with credit investors, who will weigh factors including the absence of a borrowing history, its lack of profit and its high cash-burn rate against its growth potential and its attractiveness as an environmentally-friendly “green” issuer.

Ultimately, the depth of investor interest will determine the bond’s interest rate.

Elon Musk-led Tesla is counting on the Model 3, its least pricey car, to become a profitable, mass market manufacturer of electric cars. Tesla said last week that it had 455,000 net pre-orders for the Model 3, which has a $35,000 base price, and that the sedan was averaging 1,800 reservations per day since it launched late last month.

At the launch, Musk, however, warned that Tesla would face months of “manufacturing hell” as it increases production of the sedan.

Tesla had over $3 billion in cash on hand at the end of the June quarter, compared with $4 billion as of the previous quarter and $3.25 billion a year earlier.

The company has said it expects capital expenditures of $2 billion in the second half of this year to boost production at its Fremont, California assembly plant and a battery plant in Reno, Nevada.

Tesla’s cash burn has prompted short-sellers like Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn to bet against the company.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and RBC are the book-runners on the bond offering, IFR reported.

Shares of Tesla, up 67 percent this year, closed down 9 cents at $356.82.

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