Monday, November 30, 2009

Canadian Province Courts Businesses

The Ontario provincial government is courting U.S. businesses through an ad campaign.Ontario indicates that it has a number of strong points for the businesses to consider,such as R&D tax credits;educated workers;and billions in government investment.There is a climate of innovation in the province,creating an ideal environment for green businesses in particular.
Ontario says its R&D tax credits are some of the most generous in the world.And their combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate is lower than the U.S. federal/state average,the province contends.Ontario is transforming green ideas into green business,which is why over 2500 environmental firms have set up shop there,according to the publicity.
Many U.S. observers have been complaining that high U.S. corporate taxes are making the nation less competitive in the global economy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

MedImmune Recognizes Student Researchers

A panel of MedImmune judges awarded cash prizes to three student researchers recently.They are considered the next generation of scientific leaders in respiratory diseases,inflammation and autoimmunity(RIA).The students and postdoctoral fellows submitted abstracts on RIA research and presented them at MedImmune's Gaithersburg,Maryland headquarters.
A first prize of 2,000 dollars went to Eric Boilard,postdoctoral student at Harvard Medical School and Brigham&Womens'Hospital for his arthritis research.Dr.Anthony J. Coyle,Ph.D.,vice president of R&D,said the research submitted could pave the way for further understanding of these diseases and could potentially help in the development of new therapies.
MedImmune is committed to investing in future scientists and promoting health and science education,Senior Vice President of R&D Buhija Jallal stated.MedImmune,a division of Astra Zeneca,has a pipeline of over 100 research projects and product candidates.It has facilities in the U.K. and the Netherlands,as well as in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vivendi Holds the Key

French communications firm Vivendi SA holds the balance of power over General Electric and Comcast at this point.The conglomerate has the final say on whether Comcast can acquire NBC Universal from GE.The decision will be handed down within three weeks,according to Vivendi Chief Financial Officer Philippe Capron.Vivendi owns 20% of NBC-U,and must sell its stake to GE,if the deal is to go forward.Mr.Capron said they are not there yet.
Through its various holdings,Vivendi is number one in video games and music worldwide;number two in France telecom;number one in Morocco telecom;and number one in Pay-TV France.It owns 56% of video gamer Activision Blizzard and 100% of Universal Music Group.The Parisian firm is led by CEO Jean-Bernard Levy.
Receiving a journalism award at Arizona State University,NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said nothing about the deal.He did mention that NBC News viewership is up from where it was last year,however.GE's decision to sell NBC-U has been cited by some observers as a sign of the fading away of broadcast television.
Vivendi shares trade on the over the counter pink sheets.Their ticker symbol is VIVEF.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Feeling the Capital Markets

Duncan Niederauer is a man at the center of the financial world.As CEO of NYSE/Euronext,Mr.Niederauer feels the pulse of the business world as few others can.Young entrepreneurs were in his care recently as the NYSE held Global Entrepreneurship Week-Mentoring Madness.This annual event provides advice for young entrepreneurs.They were told to not just rely on banks for financing.NYSE awarded 25,000 dollars for the best business plan.
Initial public offerings are burgeoning at the NYSE.Companies feel like the window is open,Mr.Niederauer observed.We're gonna see if there's too much supply or not.It looks pretty good so far,he said.
Mr.Niederauer thinks it's easier for China to take steps more quickly,with their political system.Can they follow through for 2010?What they're really trying to do is create more domestic demand.The U.S. and China are intelligent enough to know that a mutually beneficial relationship is the only way forward,in Mr.Niederauer's view.
The market is telling you that they believe in what the companies are doing with getting leaner.I still need to see more consumer confidence,if you want my opinion,Duncan Niederauer confided.How the economy will do next year is the big question.We'll know in the next 2-3 months,in his assessment.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Diabetes Affects the Eye

As a metabolic disorder,diabetes affects many different organs.It can have a number of harmful effects on the eye.That is why eye care professionals may be the first to diagnose diabetes in their patients.Most distinctive is diabetic retinopathy,or damage to the blood vessels in the retina,at the back of the eye.Other diabetes-related eye problems include a 60% greater incidence of cataracts than normal-at earlier ages and with faster progression.Diabetics are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma as well.Such complications of diabetes are a leading cause of blindness.To safeguard their vision,diabetics must be vigilant in monitoring the condition of their eyes and securing needed treatment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Conglomerate Still Bulking Up

Industrial conglomerate Danaher is continuing to expand its businesses.The company,which has 1.64 billion dollars in cash,prefers to augment its portfolio rather than pay a significant dividend.In September,Danaher bought the analytical technologies business of MDS,Inc. of Mississauga,Ontario,plus a 50% stake in a joint venture with the Canadian firm.The total cost of those deals was 650 million dollars U.S.Then Danaher acquired the remaining 50% of AB Sciex,a mass spectrometry maker,from Life Technologies of Carlsbad,California for 450 million.And it's still shopping.
Danaher said it had a solid beginning to Q4.The order book was stronger than expected,with good results across all its platforms,including Gilbarco fuel pumps,test and measurement,and Leica medical instruments.The Craftsman tool line is the most famous brand in Danaher's holdings.Based in Washington,D.C.,Danaher was paying a 12-cent dividend as of yesterday.The company employs about 50,000.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beta Trade Is Waning

This current rally is not progressing at the same rate as earlier ones,according to Carter Worth of Oppenheimer.The good eating's been had.We're not getting quite the torque that you would anticipate,given the news.The market keeps bumping up against 1100 on the S&P.People are rotating out of the beta trade-the speculative trade-into the more established,recognizable names.It's a maturing of the rally,Mr.Worth believes.
Everything is starting to participate,in Carter Worth's view.That's where you get into the stall speed.You should double back and pick up large cap laggards such as Wal-Mart.2003 was a big recovery year.By 2004,hyper-correlation broke down.We think this everything trade starts to break down in 2010,Mr.Worth noted.
In fact, the S&P did break above 1100 this morning.It remains to be seen,though,if it can close there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pfizer's R&D Empire

Drug colossus Pfizer has a sprawling research and development segment.Within its two R&D divisions,PharmaTherapeutics and BioTherapeutics,the company is investigating treatments for a host of ailments.The research units in each of the divisions include Allergy and Respiratory;Antibacterials;Biocorrection;Cardiovascular Metabolic&Endocrine Diseases;Genitourinary;Inflammation and Immunology;Neuroscience;Oncology;Pain;Tissue Repair;and Vaccine Research.PharmaTherapeutics is concerned with small molecule therapies,while BioTherapeutics handles large molecule therapies.
Pfizer recently closed on its acquisition of rival Wyeth and is busy integrating the two firms' research and development activities.This will result in the shuttering of six facilities and some 2,000 layoffs.Facilities to be closed are located in New York,North Carolina,New Jersey and the U.K.The company is headquartered in New York City,under CEO Jeff Kindler.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trade Group Tracks Progress

The Institute for Supply Management,a buyers' trade group,has recorded gains in the manufacturing sector for the third straight month.The October reading for the sector came in at 55.7,up from 52.6 in September.The October estimate had been 53.0.Readings above 50 indicate growth in manufacturing.October's number was the highest since April 2006.
The growth tracked by the ISM was attributed to stronger U.S. exports,inventory restocking and government stimulus programs.It manifested itself in expansion of manufacturing employment for the first time in 15 months,registering at 53.1 in October,up from September's 46.2.
The ISM is located in Tempe,Arizona,which is adjacent to Phoenix.Its reports are based on surveys of hundreds of businesses.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Federal Reserve Stays Friendly

The slower pace of job destruction is good news,says Paul McCulley,Managing Director at PIMCO,but the rate north of 10 bakes in the cake that the Federal Reserve is gonna be friendly for a very extended period of time,which is very good for price-to-earnings values.The recent employment data reinforce the idea that the recovery will be slow.
We're gonna see the extension of various government programs,Mr.McCulley predicts,not a mega-package.If the unemployment rate continues to go up,however,we will see a mega-package in the next 6-12 months.The Fed can be incredibly patient and nurturing of this economy.It is being responsible in being accommodating.Money is being horded,given the 10% unemployment rate,which prevents inflation.
Bonds have had an amazing run,Mr.McCulley observed.Investors should start harvesting gains.The train has not only left the station;it's at the next station,in Paul McCulley's opinion.
The stock market surged this morning,apparently as comfortable with Federal Reserve policy as Mr.McCulley.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Coke Continues Health Push

Coca-Cola is continuing its healthy lifestyle marketing campaign.Coke understands what Americans need today,and is there to meet that need,not just peddle random products.With its signature brand,Coke is offering both low calorie options Diet Coke and Coke Zero,and Coke portion-control cans.
Coke is even introducing a new,all-natural no-calorie sweetener.Rebiana is derived from the stevia leaf and is part of the sweetening for 50-calorie Sprite Green and 10-calorie vitaminwater10.Coke says that,for nearly every beverage brand it sells,it has developed a low or no-calorie alternative.In the U.S. alone,it offers more than 650 sparkling beverages,water,juices,teas and sport drinks.People want variety and choices in all the beverages they drink,the company believes.They have committed themselves to continually providing a variety of options that help people make the right choices for themselves and their families.
Coke has set up a website for this campaign at

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

U.S. Steel Grew Stronger

U.S. Steel posted stronger results in Q3.The Pittsburgh manufacturer's net loss of 303 million dollars,or -2.11 a share,was better than Q2's net loss of 392 million,or -2.92 a share.Its shipments of 4.2 million tons were up 41% from Q2,and net sales of 2.8 billion dollars were up 32% from Q2.Year to date cash flow was 118 million from operations,maintaining the company's strong liquidity position of 12.5 billion in cash and 2.7 billion in total liquidity.
U.S. Steel projected another loss in Q4,although still less of one than Q3's.Output will remain the same.CEO John Surma said that although they currently have more of their facilities operating,with more of their people back to work,demand trends remain uncertain as both the U.S. and global economies struggle to recover.Indeed,U.S. Steel is idling plants in Indiana and Illinois to prevent excess production.The company has major production operations in the U.S.,Canada and Central Europe.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rally Likely At Peak

The recent stock market uptick is likely at its peak,according to Bill Gross,co-CEO and co-Chief Investment Officer at PIMCO with Mohamed El-Erian.We're seeing the new normal for the economy:slower growth,about half what it used to be.Mr.Gross admitted they try and keep their heads relatively small and shrunken in this business.Overconfidence is the spell of doom.
One may expect a very low return on assets,Bill Gross feels.We've re-normalized,although the price-to-earnings ratios tend to fake us out.To the extent that we see Gross Domestic Product growth at 2% in real terms,versus the old normal of 4%,assets will return less.We're living in an economy of deleveraging.Loans will be less available.Homeowners must put 20% down now,for example.There is a very significant shift in terms of risk preferences and regulation.
Mr.Gross' views are at least partially echoed by other observers of the financial markets.Christine Romer,Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors,says the consensus for GDP growth is in the range of 2-3% for the next four quarters.