The R&D Index for the holiday-shortened week ending November 23, 2018 closed at 4,065.48 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was down -4.09% (or -173.23 basis points) from the week ending November 16, 2018. The stock of five R&D Index companies gained value last week from 0.32% (Novartis) to 2.35% (Toyota). The stock of twenty R&D Index companies lost value last week from -0.40% (Sanofi SA) to -10.98% (Apple Computer).
A large portion of R&D Index member Amazon’s massive industry-leading R&D budget is focused on supporting its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services. AWS is the undisputed global leader in cloud systems with about 42% market share of the public cloud infrastructure. Amazon announces multiple AI-focused features to AWS on nearly a weekly basis. Last week Amazon Transcribe and Comprehend (their automatic speech recognition service and natural language processing service) gained support for transcriptions and custom entities. They also announced improvements last week to AWS Sagemaker, a comprehensive platform for building, training and deploying machine learning models.
Safety concerns on self-driving cars have at least temporarily stalled vehicle testing programs in New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Arizona as politicians in those cities have halted testing programs by R&D Index members General Motors and Alphabet/Google, along with Uber Technologies, Lyft, and various smaller programs. At least some of these decisions were fueled by a fatal crash of a self-driving vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, in March 2018.
The Federal Reserve’s next meeting is scheduled for December 18-19, which has been widely touted for the past six months as the timing for a fourth short-term interest rate hike for 2018. The recent stock fall-off in October and November, falling commodity prices and global indications of economic slowdowns outside the U.S. revealed by global energy price drops, however, may have put that December rate increase in peril. President Trump has also been against the previous rate hikes, although U.S. economic trends remain strong. The OPEC meeting in Vienna on December 6 and the Group of 20 Summit on November 30 in Buenos Aires are likely to produce some telling indicators on the global economy which may influence the Fed’s actions.
|R&D Index Week Ending November 23, 2018|
|Ticker||Exchange||2018 R&D millions U.S. $||11/16/18||11/23/18||11/23/18 to 11/16/18||11/23/18 to 12/29/17|
|7||Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||11,493||145.99||142.23||-2.58%||1.80%|
|8||Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||11,323||76.06||74.67||-1.83%||32.70%|
|18||Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||6,769||113.83||112.87||-0.84%||33.64%|
|23||Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||5,483||40.67||40.20||-1.16%||15.85%|
About the R&D Index
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 2018 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 2018 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.