The R&D Market Pulse Index for the week ending September 1, 2017 closed at 3,466.23 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was up 2.06% (or 70.10 basis points) over the week ending August 25, 2017. Twenty R&D Index companies gained value last week from 0.17% (Toyota) to 4.94% (General Motors). Five R&D Index companies lost value last week from -0.24% (IBM) to -0.60% (Daimler and Bayer AG).
While last week’s market performance was exemplary, it belied the news following market close on Sunday when the North Korean government announced it had detonated a large nuclear weapon that they claim could be assembled into one of their intercontinental missiles. This news shocked some foreign markets which were not closed for the September 4 Labor Day holiday and most futures markets for the September 5 market open, although the declines seen were relatively modest in scale.
Economic reports released last week sent mixed messages to the Fed concerning their plans for one more short-term interest rate increase this year. According to the Dept. of Labor, non-farm payrolls rose just 156,000 in August, slower than the increases seen in June and July, which were also revised downward in Friday’s report. This resulted in the summer’s average of 180,000/month, about the same as that in the summer of 2016. Unemployment rose from 4.3% to 4.4% in August and wages rose 2.5%/year for the fifth consecutive month. On the positive side, factory activity was at its highest level in six years in August, and consumer sentiment also was approaching its highest level in August since 2000.
Autodata Inc. also reported that the year-long decline in U.S. auto sales continued in August with overall sales dropping 1.9% from the level in August 2016. While GM saw a 7.4% increase in light vehicle sales in August, this was attributed to deep discounting to make room for the 2018 models.
Dow Chemical and DuPont Co. completed their merger last Friday and debuted on the New York Stock Exchange as DowDuPont, assuming DuPont’s spot on the DJIA. Dow had estimated 2017 R&D spending of $1.511 billion while DuPont had estimated 2017 R&D spending of $1.502 billion. Company executives are quoted as stating they plan to carve the combined companies three divisions of agriculture, materials science and specialty products into separately publicly traded entities over the next 18 months, however some large investors have voiced concerns which may complicate that timetable.
R&D Index Week Ending September 1, 2017
|Ticker||Exchange||2017 R&D billions$||08/25/17||09/01/17||9/1/17 to 8/25/17||9/1/17 to 1/1/17|
|Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||9,060||131.68||131.03||-0.49%||13.73%|
|Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||6,363||29.24||30.11||2.98%||10.21%|
|Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||5,759||62.94||63.83||1.41%||8.43%|
|Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||4,489||78.79||80.08||1.64%||8.88%|
About the R&D Market Pulse Index
R&D Market Pulse 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.