Global auto stocks rebounded sharply in the third quarter amid the plodding economic recovery, with retailers turning in their strongest performance in more than a year.
Auto-sector values in the July-September period surged across the board, according to the Automotive News/PricewaterhouseCoopers Shareholder Value Index. The index for global automakers rose 20 percent, the global suppliers' index rose 19 percent, and the index for U.S. retailers rose 21 percent. All roughly doubled the gains of U.S. stock market indices.
The gains come after a shaky second quarter, during which values in the auto sector fell 6 to 8 percent amid a broad downturn in global markets.
The 21 percent jump for U.S. retailers reflects "more availability of credit," said Jeff Zaleski, a PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, in a report detailing the shareholder index. It was the biggest increase for retailers since the second quarter of 2009.
The index measures a company's total shareholder return, accounting for share price, dividends and share splits, buybacks or other changes in shareholder equity.
It encompasses publicly owned automakers with annual volume of at least 1 million units, public auto-parts suppliers with a minimum of $3 billion in annual sales and Fortune 1000 public auto retail groups with at least half of their unit sales from new vehicles.