The R&D Index for the week ending March 22, 2019 closed at 4,602.21 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was up 1.59% (or 0.71 basis points) from the week ending March 15, 2019. The stock of thirteen R&D Index members gained value from 0.01% (IBM) to 3.52% (Eli Lilly Co.). The stock of twelve R&D Index members lost value from -0.32% (Oracle) to – 2.78% (Bristol-Myers Squibb).
At its March meeting last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve indicated that they are unlikely to raised short-term interest rates in 2019. They also stated that they are slowing the rate of shrinking their $4 trillion asset portfolio and will end their runoff of its Treasury holdings at the end of September. Global financial markets dropped sharply last Friday following release from the HIS Markit flash purchasing manager’s index for factory output in the euro area which revealed output in March contracted the most since December 2012. Business disruptions from Brexit was partly blamed, but so was the U.S.-China trade dispute for having a more damaging effect for a slowing global economy.
The Treasury Department announced last Friday that the government ran a $544 billion deficit from October through February, compared with $391 billion during the same period last year. On a 12-month basis ending in February, the deficit totaled $932.2 billion, or 4.5% of the GDP, the highest since May 2013.
R&D Index member General Motors announced last Friday that it will invest $300 million at an existing Orion township, Michigan auto plant to build a new electric car domestically rather than outside of the U.S. The Orion plant currently builds the electric Chevrolet Bolt, the Chevy Sonic and autonomous vehicles for GM’s Cruise unit.
Ford Motor also announced last week that it was converting a second North American plant to build electric vehicles. The upgrade to its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, part of its total $11 billion e-vehicle corporate overhaul, is scheduled to start production in 2023.
R&D Index member Pfizer agreed last Wednesday to pay $636 million for the rights to gene therapies under development at French Vivet Therapeutics. The company also said it paid about $50 million upfront for a 15% stake in Vivet. Vivet’s most advanced program is a gene therapy for Wilson disease, an inherited liver disorder, which is scheduled to start human trials in 2020. Roche and Biogen have also announced investments in gene therapies over the past month.
|R&D Index Week Ending March 22, 2019|
|Ticker||Exchange||2018 R&D millions U.S. $||03/15/19||03/22/19||3/22/19 to 3/15/19||3/22/19 to 12/31/18|
|7||Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||NYSE||11,493||137.60||136.91||-0.50%||6.09%|
|8||Merck & Co.||MRK||NYSE||11,323||81.57||82.29||0.88%||7.70%|
|18||Eli Lilly Co||LLY||NYSE||6,769||123.94||128.30||3.52%||10.87%|
|23||Astra Zeneca PLC||AZN||NYSE||5,483||42.51||42.59||0.19%||12.14%|
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 2019 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.