Switzerland’s Central Bank Bought Apple, AMC, Tesla, and Rivian Stock

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Apple stock is holding up better than the broader market.


Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

The central bank of Switzerland increased positions in some of its largest U.S.-traded equity investments in the first quarter.

The

Swiss National Bank

bought stock of iPhone maker

Apple

(ticker: AAPL), movie-theater chain

AMC Entertainment Holdings

(AMC), and electric-vehicle makers

Tesla

(TSLA) and

Rivian

Automotive (RIVN).

The bank disclosed the trades in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As of March 31, it owned $177 billion of U.S.-traded securities. It declined to comment on the investment changes.

The Swiss National Bank bought 8.2 million more Apple shares to lift its investment to 71 million shares. Apple stock slipped 1.7% in the first quarter, compared with a 5% drop in the

S&P 500 index
.
So far in the second quarter, shares are down 16%, while the index is 11% lower.

Apple shares have gone on a losing streak, and the longest since the start of the pandemic. But the stock is holding up better than the broader market, and we noted that Apple’s performance could prevent the S&P 500 from sliding into a bear market. Last week, the company announced the phaseout of the iPod device, a game-changing portable music player that Apple introduced 20 years ago.

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Decades-old film franchises Spider-Man and Batman sent droves of viewers to AMC theaters, lifting the company’s first-quarter report above expectations. Off screen, the company introduced a different plotline earlier this year by taking a large stake in

Hycroft Mining Holding

(HYMC), which owns a Nevada gold and silver mine.

The bank bought 274,900 more AMC shares to lift its investment to 2.2 million shares. The stock slipped 9.4% in the first quarter; so far in the second, shares have plunged 52%.

Tesla stock has also been hammered so far in the second quarter, down 29% after a 2% rise in the first quarter. The stock has been roiled lately by big share sales by CEO Elon Musk, presumably to fund part of his purchase of social-media platform

Twitter

(TWTR). Last week, Musk bragged that Tesla’s sales are growing faster than those of

Ford Motor
’s
(F) Model T during its heyday.

The Swiss National Bank bought 498,700 more Tesla shares to end the first quarter with 3.7 million shares.

The bank also bought 117,100 Rivian shares to lift its holdings to 773,200. The stock plunged 52% in the first quarter; so far in the second, it has tumbled 58%.

The drop has hurt big investors in the company, including Ford and

Amazon.com

(AMZN). Rivian’s first-quarter earnings last week missed estimates, but investors were relieved that cash operating expenses declined from the fourth quarter, and that guidance was left intact. Shares soared, and analysts were upbeat about Rivian’s prospects. The mood was so positive, the announcement of Rivian’s first recall didn’t put a damper on the shares.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at edward.lin@barrons.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.