The R&D Index for the week ending April 6, 2018 closed at 3,935.88 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was down 2.34% (or 94.11 basis points) from the week ending March 30, 2018. Seven R&D Index companies posted a gain for the week from 0.17% (Sanofi) to 3.69% (General Motors). Eighteen R&D Index companies posted a loss for the week from -0.04% (Johnson & Johnson) to -6.32% (Intel).
The U.S.-China trade dispute, characterized by the more than $300 billion trade imbalance and Trump’s recent spate of tariffs, was last week’s primary driver for the stock market sell-off, as investors feared increased product prices and decreased trade. Little positive headway was made as China responded tit-for-tat to the Trump Administration’s tariffs. Separately, the Commerce Dept. announced last Thursday that the U.S. February trade deficit rose to $57.6 billion, the sixth consecutive monthly increase and the widest gap since October 2008 when it was $60.2 billion and the U.S. was deep in a recession. Concurrent increases in exports and imports revealed a robust global economy. The U.S.-China trade deficit in January and February 2018 was $65 billion, up from $54 billion in the first two months of 2017.
Analysts point to possible actions by China that could lower investments in U.S. companies or increase regulations for U.S. companies operating in China as impediments to U.S. R&D activities at home and in China. Actual results will take up to six months to appear.
R&D Index member General Motors last week announced that it would no longer release monthly sales figures, a decades-old practice provided by most auto manufacturers that allows analysts to estimate the auto sector’s health. GM will now release this data quarterly, stating that 30-day results was not an adequate picture of the company’s complex businesses. GM stock was up 3.7% for the week ending 4/6/18. In separate announcements, it was revealed that by various analysts that GM and Ford will both cut back on production of small and intermediate car models to focus their production on increased demand for SUV and truck models. GM’s Chevrolet brand will shut down its Sonic and Impala models over the next year, while Ford is expected to shut down its Taurus and Fiesta models over the same period. Future R&D investments for both companies are expected to be similarly re-distributed internally. GM is expected to increase its total R&D spending by 3.3% in 2018 to $8.6 billion, while Ford is similarly forecast to increase its total R&D spending by 3.1% in 2018.
|Ticker||Exchange||2017 R&D billions$||03/29/18||04/06/18||4/6/18 to 3/29/18||4/6/18 to 12/29/17|
|9||Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||9,060||128.15||128.10||-0.04%||-8.32%|
|18||Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||6,363||34.97||35.42||1.29%||2.07%|
|19||Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||5,759||54.47||53.36||-2.04%||-5.17%|
|25||Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||4,489||77.37||76.85||-0.67%||-9.01%|
R&D Magazine’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in research and development. The top 25 industrial spenders of R&D in 2017 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2017 R&D Ratios & Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (11 companies), automotive (5), ICT (8) and conglomerate (1) organizations who invested a cumulative total of more than $209 billion in R&D in 2017, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spent in the world by government, industries and academia combined, according to R&D Magazine’s 2017 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D Index are tabulated from NASDAQ, NYSE, XETRA and OTC common stock prices (in U.S. dollars) for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the publication of the R&D Index in R&D Magazine’s R&D Daily eNewsletter.
The companies used in the R&D Index include Amazon, Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Volkswagen AG, Roche Pharma, Toyota, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, General Motors, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco, Qualcomm, Oracle, Honda Motor Company, Astra Zeneca plc, Merck & Company, Daimler, Bayer AG, Sanofi SA, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly Co. Stock prices are based on those stocks traded on the U.S. exchanges. R&D Index trends (in the stock prices) are just one indicator of the amount of capital available to these high-technology companies to invest in R&D and should not be implied to indicate the absolute value of R&D investments made by these organizations. The companies chosen for the R&D Index have very large sophisticated internal and global R&D organizations with each company investing between $4.5 and $17 billion annually on their R&D efforts.