The R&D Market Pulse Index for the holiday-shortened week ending November 24, 2017 closed at 3,878.54 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was up 2.70% (or 101.82 basis points) over the week ending November 17, 2017. Twenty-three R&D Index companies gained value last week from 0.02% (Johnson & Johnson) to 8.59% (Roche Pharmaceuticals). Two R&D Index companies lost value last week from -0.06% (GlaxoSmithKline) to -1.54% (Merck & Co).
The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and DJIA indices all posted record highs last week with each now posting double-digit gains for the year—28%, 16% and 19% respectively. Most analysts are also optimistic that the rally can continue into 2018 due to recent strong corporate profit reports and an expanding U.S. economy. The rising stock prices, however, have caused companies to slow their stock buybacks (to the lowest level in five years) and focus their investments on capital spending and merger programs instead. This could also mean larger investments in R&D.
Volvo agreed last week to supply Uber Technologies with 24,000 self-driving cars starting in 2019 and continuing through 2021—the biggest commercial order yet announced for such vehicles. Volvo is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and the company stated that the new vehicles would be based on Volvo’s XC90 and would be built in Sweden. Volvo also plans to produce these vehicles in a new factory being built in Charleston, SC.
Projections for U.S. economic growth for 4Q 2017 rose last week according to two Federal Reserve reports. The NY Federal Reserve stated that U.S. GDP would increase 3.8%, up from a previous estimate of 3.2%. The Atlanta Federal Reserve stated that U.S. GDP would increase by 3.4% om 4Q, up from its previous projection of 3.2%. These reports outpace independent economists who expect 2.7% growth in 4Q.
Early estimates saw a 16.9% increase from 2016 in online sales for last week’s Black Friday and only a 1% decline in foot traffic in stores, also from 2016. How much these traffic figures translate into actual sales volume won’t be known until retailers announce their earnings in early 2018. Cyber Monday, November 27, is expected to be even bigger for digital sales than Black Friday.
The new tax code, schedule for a vote by December 1, has weakened the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies and raised the value of gold by more than 1.4% to nearly $1,300/oz according to the NY Mercantile Exchange. The tax code vote may be delayed if Republicans feel they do not have enough votes to pass it.
|R&D Index Week Ending November 24, 2017|
|Ticker||Exchange||2017 R&D billions$||11/17/17||11/24/17||11/24/17 to 11/17/17||11/24/17 to 1/1/17|
|Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||9,060||137.98||138.01||0.02%||19.79%|
|Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||6,363||33.45||33.84||1.17%||23.87%|
|Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||5,759||55.20||54.35||-1.54%||-7.68%|
|Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||4,489||82.90||84.03||1.36%||14.25%|
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 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.