Companies featured in this edition of the newsletter: IMNP, OPSSF
The stock market ended April on a lower note, though this last week was busy on all fronts. Investors saw a heavy batch of economic data and earnings reports. The Federal Open Market Committee held the fed funds rate unchanged between 0.25% and 0.50%. The FOMC statement was dovish and contained no hints of an impending rate hike. The Dow finished the week at 17,774 down 230 points or -1.3%, and it is up 2.0% for the year. The Nasdaq finished at 4,775 down 131 points or -2.7%, and it is down -4.6% for the year. The S&P 500 finished the week down 26 points or -1.3% at 2,065 from 2,092 last week, and it is up 1.0% for the year. The Russell 2000 finished the week down 16 points or -1.4% at 1,131 from 1,147 last week, and it is down -0.4% for the year.
In economic news, new home sales in March ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 511,000 that was down 1.5% from February, which saw an upward revision of 519,000 from a previously reported 512,000. The Durable Goods Orders report for March was another disappointing piece of economic news, replete with downward revisions to the prior month’s data. Durable goods orders increased 0.8% in March after declining a downwardly revised 3.1% in February. Excluding transportation, orders declined 0.2% after declining a downwardly revised 1.3% in February. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index registered a 94.2 reading for April versus a downwardly revised 96.1 reading for March, and the cause of the dip was all about the outlook. First quarter real GDP increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just 0.5%, which was below expectations and the weakest quarter of growth since the first quarter of 2015, which was up just 0.6%. The GDP Deflator was up 0.7%.
Initial claims for the week ending April 23 increased by 9,000 to 257,000, that was roughly in line with expectations. Continuing claims for the week ending April 16 decreased by 5,000 to 2.130 million. The Personal Income and Spending report for March showed a 0.4% increase in income and 0.1% increase in spending. The compensation of employees was up 0.3%, bolstered by a 0.4% increase in wages and salaries. Rental income was up 0.8%, and personal dividend income increased 0.8% after declining 1.2% in February. The personal savings rate bumped up to 5.4% from 5.1% in February, which matched the savings in February 2015, which was highest since December 2012. The PCE Price Index, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, was up 0.1% month over month. Core PCE, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.1%, as expected, in March. The first quarter Employment Cost Index increased 0.6%, which was in line with expectations, and followed in the wake of a 0.5% increase for the fourth quarter. Wages and salaries, which make up about 70% of the index, were up 0.7% while benefits, which account for the remaining portion, were up 0.5%. The final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for April checked in at 89.0, which was below the preliminary reading of 89.7 and the final reading of 91.0 for March. April is the fourth straight month that there has been a decline in consumer sentiment.
This week saw several market movers reporting 1Q 2016 earnings or their most recent quarter. In the healthcare sector, Express Scripts reported net income of $526.1 million or $0.81 per diluted share compared with $441.1 million or $0.60 per share in the same quarter last year. Anthem reported net income of $703.0 million or $2.63 per diluted share compared with $865.2 million or $3.09 per share last year. Aetna reported net income of $726.6 million or $2.06 per diluted share compared with $777.5 million or $2.20 per share in the same quarter a year ago. Cardinal Health reported net earnings of $386 million or $1.17 per diluted share compared with $365 million or $1.09 per share in 2015. In the consumer goods sector, Procter & Gamble reported net income of $2.8 billion or $0.97 per diluted share compared with $2.2 billion or $0.75 per share in 2015. Apple reported 2Q Fiscal 2016 net income of $10.5 billion or $1.90 per diluted share compared with $13.6 billion or $2.33 per share in the same quarter a year ago. Ford Motor reported net income of $2.5 billion or $0.61 per diluted share compared with $1.3 billion.
In the basic materials sector, Chevron reported a net loss of ($725) million or ($0.39) per diluted share compared with net earnings of $2.6 billion or $1.37 per share last year. ExxonMobil reported net earnings of $1.8 billion or $0.43 per diluted share compared with $4.9 billion or $1.17 per share in 2015. UPS reported net income of $1.1 billion or $1.27 per diluted share compared with $1.0 billion or $1.12 per share in the same period a year. Boeing reported net earnings of $1.2 billion or $1.83 per diluted share compared with $1.3 billion or $1.87 per share last year. Comcast reported net earnings of $2.1 billion or $0.87 per diluted share compared with $2.1 billion or $0.81 per share in 2015. Lastly, AT&T reported net income of $3.8 billion or $0.61 per diluted share compared with $3.3 billion or $0.63 in the same quarter of 2015.
This week the 2016 Bloom Burton Healthcare Investor Conference will be held May 2-3, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. The Gulf South Bank Conference 2016 will be held May 2-3, 2016 at The Ritz Carlton hotel in New Orleans, LA. The Piper Jaffray 2016 Financial Institutions Conference will be held May 4-6, 2016 in Orlando, FL. The Deutsche Bank Access 41st Annual Healthcare Conference will be held May 4-5, 2016 at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, MA. Lastly, the Joseph Gunnar Pioneer 2016 Conference will be held May 5, 2016 at the New York Palace Hotel in NYC.
Volume Alert: Immune Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMNP), a biopharmaceutical company that applies a personalized approach to treating and developing novel, highly-targeted antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer, saw a spike in its volume several days this week, on Monday it traded over 500,000 shares, on Tuesday is traded over 400,000 shares and then on Wednesday it traded over 600,000 shares - that’s four times it’s three month average daily volume.
Immune finished the week at $0.40.
Price Alert: Opsens Inc. (OTCQX: OPSSF) (TSX: OPS.V), a healthcare company that engages in the development, manufacture, sale, and installation of fiber optic sensors for interventional cardiology, fractional flow reserve (FFR), oil and gas, and industrial applications, hit a 52 week high at $0.99 this past week on Thursday and Friday.
Opsens closed the week at $0.99 on the OTCQX under OPSSF.
A profile, description, or other mention of a company in the newsletter is neither an offer nor solicitation to buy or sell any securities mentioned. While we believe all sources of information to be factual and reliable, in no way do we represent or guarantee the accuracy thereof, nor the statements made herein. THE READER SHOULD VERIFY ALL CLAIMS AND DO ITS OWN DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY SECURITIES MENTIONED. This publication accepts compensation from companies that it features. This newsletter should not be regarded as an independent publication. Our editors may, from time to time, acquire positions in the companies that they cover. This could represent a conflict of interest. The CEOcast newsletter shall be under no obligation to inform readers about its trading activities. CEOcast's editors reserve the right to buy or sell shares in these companies at any time. The following companies, featured in this newsletter, have compensated CEOcast: Immune Pharmaceuticals, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Opsens, fifteen thousand dollars cash.