Stocks rose ever so slightly today despite productivity data that were weaker than expected.
Richard Drew/Associated Press
The S&P 500 finished little changed at 2,181.74 today, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished little changed at 18,533.05. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2% to 5,225.48, a new record close.
The market wasn’t very productive today–and neither was the actual productivity data from here in the U.S. Capital Economics’ Paul Ashworth explains:
The second-quarter productivity figures, which incorporate the recent downward revisions to historical GDP, reveal that productivity growth, which was already woeful, was even worse than we previously believed.
Non-farm productivity actually contracted by 0.5% annualised in the second quarter. That isnt just a one-off either, with productivity falling by 0.4% over the past 12 months. The previous figures showed productivity increasing by 0.7% over the 12 months to the end of the first quarter. Productivity growth was revised up to 0.9% for 2015, however, from 0.7%, with the 2014 growth rate unchanged at 0.8%. But those growth rates are still abysmally low when compared with the average of more than 3% seen during the IT boom in the second half of the 1990s.
Best Insurance Companies To Watch For 2016: Royal Bank Scotland plc (The)(RBS)
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides banking and financial products and services to personal, commercial, corporate, and institutional customers worldwide. The company operates through Personal & Business Banking (PBB), Commercial & Private Banking (CPB), Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB), Capital Resolution, Williams & Glyn, and Central Items & Other segments. It offers various traditional retail banking products, including current and savings accounts, residential mortgages, credit cards, loan products, and investment services. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc was founded in 1727 and is headquartered in Edinburgh, the United Kingdom.
- [By Paul R. La Monica]
European banks worse off than 2008? Lamensdorf is concerned about the exposure to bad loans (especially energy company debt) held by big banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Credit Suisse (CS) and Deutsche Bank (DB). He’s shorting all three.
Best Insurance Companies To Watch For 2016: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(INFI)
Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a drug discovery and development company, discovers, develops, and delivers medicines to patients with difficult-to-treat diseases. Its lead product candidate includes IPI-145, an oral inhibitor of the delta and gamma isoforms of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. The company is developing DYNAMO, which is in Phase II study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IPI-145 dosed at 25 mg; CONTEMPO that is in the Phase Ib/II study of IPI-145 in combination with obinutuzumab or rituximab in patients with untreated follicular lymphoma; BRAVURA, which is in Phase III study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IPI-145 plus rituximab and bendamustine; and FRESCO that is in Phase II study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IPI-145 plus rituximab. It is also developing DYNAMO+R, which is in Phase III randomized study to evaluate IPI-145 dosed at 25 mg in c ombination with rituximab, a monoclonal antibody treatment; DUO that is in randomized Phase III monotherapy study evaluating IPI-145 dosed at 25 mg in patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); and SYNCHRONY, which is in the Phase Ib study of IPI-145 in combination with obinutuzumab in CLL patients. In addition, the company is conducting a Phase Ib/II trial of IPI-145 in combination with venetoclax, a B-cell lymphoma 2 inhibitor; and developing IPI-549 that is in Phase I study for patients with various solid tumors, including melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. The company has collaboration and license agreement with AbbVie Inc. to develop and commercialize IPI-145 in oncology; and development and license agreement with Intellikine, Inc. to discover, develop, and commercialize pharmaceutical products targeting the delta and/or gamma isoforms of PI3K. Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI) shares dropped 70 percent to $1.32. Infinity announced plans to cut 21 percent of the workforce. The company also reported that DYNAMO Phase 2 monotherapy study evaluating the efficacy and safety of duvelisib met its primary endpoint.
Top Life Sciences Stocks For 2016: Ascent Capital Group, Inc.(ASCMA)
Ascent Capital Group, Inc., through its subsidiary, Monitronics International, Inc., provides security alarm monitoring and related services to residential and business subscribers in the United States and Canada. The company monitors signals arising from burglaries, fires, medical alerts, and other events through security systems at subscribers premises. It offers a range of residential security services, including hands-free two-way interactive voice communication with the monitoring center, cellular options, and an interactive service option, which allows the customer to control their security system remotely using a computer or mobile device. The company also provides third party contract monitoring services to other security alarm companies for monitoring their accounts on a wholesale basis. It markets and sells its products through a network of authorized dealers. The company was formerly known as Ascent Media Corporat ion and changed its name to Ascent Capital Group, Inc. in July 2011. Ascent Capital Group, Inc. was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
- [By Ian Wyatt, Publisher & Chief Investment Strategist, Wyatt Investment Research]
Both of these stocks are overlooked, undervalued, and cash flow machines. The companies are Ascent Capital Group (ASCMA) and Covanta Holdings (CVA).
Best Insurance Companies To Watch For 2016: Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.(EGLE)
Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. engages in the ocean transportation of bulk cargoes in the dry bulk industry. The company primarily transports iron ore, coal, grain, cement, and fertilizer along worldwide shipping routes. As of December 31, 2009, it owned and operated a fleet of 27 oceangoing vessels with a combined carrying capacity of 1,412,535 deadweight tons. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
- [By Lisa Levin]
Shares of Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc (NASDAQ: EGLE) were down 49 percent to $0.381. Eagle Bulk Shipping announced after Wednesday’s close it has reached an agreement with its lenders and holders of its equity to raise $105 million.