Companies featured in this edition of the newsletter: ENZ, IMNP, STLT, OPSSF/OPS.V
This trading week was highlighted by the release of the last heavy batch of first quarter earnings and the Employment Situation report for April. Though the release of the April Employment Situation report briefly reduced the chance of a rate hike in June to 6.0% from 13.1%. The stock market registered its second consecutive weekly retreat and slipped back to levels from early April. The Dow finished the week down 33 points or -0.2% at 17,741 from 17,774 last week, and it is up 1.8% for the year. The Nasdaq finished the week at 4,736 down 39 points or -0.8% from 4,775 last week, and it is down -5.4% for the year. The S&P 500 finished the week down 8 points or -0.4% at 2,057 from 2,065 last week, and it is up 0.6% for the year. The Russell 2000 finished the week at 1,111 down 20 points or -1.8% from 1,131 last week, and it is down -2.2% for the year.
This week in economic news The Manufacturing ISM Index for April checked in at 50.8. That is down from 51.8 in March and 51.5 in the same period a year ago. Total construction spending increased 0.3% in March, and the increase was powered by 1.1% increase in total private construction spending. U.S. light vehicle sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.42 million units in April versus a SAAR of 16.57 million units for March. The April run rate was 4.0% above the SAAR of 16.75 million units for April 2015. Total domestic sales increased to 13.84 million SAAR from 13.33 million SAAR in March. Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased at a 1.0% annual rate in the first quarter. Unit labor costs jumped 4.1% in the first quarter reflecting a 3.0% increase in hourly compensation and a 1.0% decrease in productivity. The trade deficit for March narrowed sharply to $40.4 billion from $47.0 billion in February, and the improvement in March was a function of imports falling more than exports. New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 1.1% in March following a downwardly revised 1.9% decline in February. Excluding transportation, factory orders rose 0.8% after declining 0.9% in February. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for April was better than expected at 55.7 and up from the March reading of 54.5.
The initial claims filings for the week ending April 30 were 274,000, an increase of 17,000 from the prior week’s unrevised level. Continuing claims for the week ending April 23 decreased by 8,000 to 2.121 million. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 160,000 versus the prior 12 month average of 232,000 and the prior 3 month average of 200,000. Private sector payrolls increased by 171,000, and the unemployment rate was 5.0% versus 5.0% in March. February average hourly earnings were up 0.3% after being up 0.2% in March. Aggregate earnings were up a robust 0.8%. The average workweek was 34.5 hours versus 34.4 hours in March, and the March manufacturing workweek was unchanged at 40.7 hours. Total outstanding consumer credit increased by $17.3 billion in February after increasing an upwardly revised $14.8 billion in January.
This week saw several more market movers reporting their 1Q 2016 earnings. In the healthcare sector, CVS Health reported first quarter net income of $1.1 billion or $1.04 per diluted share compared with $1.2 billion or $1.07 per share last year. Pfizer reported first quarter net income of $3.0 billion or $0.49 per diluted share compared with $2.4 billion or $0.38 per share in 2015. Humana reported first quarter net income of $555 million or $1.86 per diluted share compared with $770 million or $2.58 per share in the same quarter last year. In the financial sector, MetLife reported first quarter GAAP net income of $2.2 billion or $1.98 per diluted share compared with $2.1 billion or $ 1.87 per share last year. Prudential reported first quarter net income of $1.3 billion or $2.93 per diluted share compared with $2.0 billion or $4.37 per share last year. In basic materials, Valero Energy reported first quarter net income of $283 million or $0.60 per diluted share compared with $964 million or $1.87 per share in 2015. And lastly, Archer Daniels reported first quarter net earnings of $230 million or $0.39 per diluted share compared with $493 million or $0.77 per share last year.
The Deutsche Bank Clean Technology, Utilities and Power Conference will be held May 9-10, 2016 at the Park Central Hotel New York in NYC. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Healthcare Conference will be held May 9-12, 2016 at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV. The Drexel Hamilton Micro-Cap Investor Forum will be held May 12, 2016 at Drexel Hamilton New York in NYC. The Jefferies 2016 Technology Conference will be held May 11-12, 2016 in Miami, FL.
Volume Alert: Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE: ENZ), a pioneer in molecular diagnostics, saw a spike in its stock on Wednesday, as over 200,000 shares were traded-that’s two times its three month average daily volume.
Enzo finished the week at $5.22.
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 on Monday as it traded over 300,000 shares- two times its three month average daily volume.
Immune closed the week at $0.34.
Volume Alert: Spotlight Innovation Inc. (QTCQB: STLT), a healthcare company that identifies and acquires rights to innovative and proprietary platform technology candidates with a focus on cancer drugs and treatment therapies, solutions for infectious disease, and other specialty and unique opportunities, continued its weekly jump in volume last week as it traded over 63,000 shares. It generally trades around 48,000 shares per week.
Spotlight finished the week at $0.58.
Volume 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, saw more than average trading volume across both the bulletin board last week. On the bulletin board it traded over 14,000 shares on Friday- that’s two times its three-month average daily volume. It typically trades around 7,000 shares a day.
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 $1.02 on the bulletin board and $1.30 on the Toronto Venture Exchange this past week.
Opsens closed the week at $1.00 on the OTCQX under OPSSF and $1.30 on the Venture Exchange under OPS.V.
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: Enzo Biochem, five thousand dollars cash per month. Immune Pharmaceuticals, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Spotlight Innovation, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Opsens, fifteen thousand dollars cash.