The R&D Index for the holiday-shortened week ending February 1, 2019 closed at 4,296.08 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was up 0.05% (or 2.06 basis points) from the week ending January 25, 2019. The stock of 18 R&D Index members gained value from 0.10% (IBM) to 5.55% (Apple). The stock of seven R&D Index members lost value from -0.29% (Volkswagen AG) to -4.10% (Microsoft).
The Labor Department reported last Friday that the U.S. labor market increased by 304,000 in January, well ahead of 2018’s average monthly job growth. This was the 100th consecutive month of increasing employment. Unemployment increased in January from to 4.0% from 3.9% in December primarily due to the government workers being placed on temporary layoffs due to the federal shutdown.
After announcing plans last week to reduce the scope of their large-scale construction in southeastern Wisconsin (Racine), Apple-supplier Foxconn, stated at the end of the week to create an advanced manufacturing facility and R&D center at the site following discussions between Foxconn CEO Terry Gou and President Trump. While still smaller than their original Gen 10.5” production-scale display factory, the revised Gen 6 plant is larger than the assembly facility Foxconn said in its revised plans. Foxconn has a history of revising its factory plans, especially for those in the U.S. Wisconsin had granted Foxconn $4.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies for its original plan with the promise of 13,000 new jobs.
The joint Russia-U.S. cancellation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty last week revealed that Russia will allocate the required funds for R&D of new weapons systems and in particular the deployment of a new hypersonic ground-launched medium range missile. It’s expected that the U.S. military will (or already has) dedicate R&D resources for countermeasures.
The Brexit deadline for Europe and the UK is now less than two months away (March 29, 2019). The UK has pledged to replace any loss of R&D funding from the Horizon 2020 program—Europe’s giant R&D funding program—however without any formal process or deal in place there currently is no official commitment from the British Treasury to cover these future internal funding schemes. Other R&D funding programs may also be at risk, especially those that require mutual UK-EU researcher interactions which are currently under review. Recruiting for researchers for future UK R&D programs has already seen little or no response from potential EU countries.
|R&D Index Week Ending February 1, 2019|
|Ticker||Exchange||2018 R&D millions U.S. $||01/25/19||02/01/19||2/1/19 to 1/25/19||2/1/19 to 12/31/18|
|7||Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||11,493||128.23||134.20||4.66%||3.99%|
|8||Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||11,323||72.95||76.45||4.80%||0.05%|
|18||Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||6,769||114.97||120.89||5.15%||4.47%|
|23||Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||5,483||35.75||36.65||2.52%||-3.50%|