Companies featured in this edition of the newsletter: STLT, OPSSF/ OPS.V
The stock market continued its recent show of strength over the past week, though equity indices started the week on a quiet note. Economic data released during the week disappointed, and this past week marked the start of the first quarter earnings season. The Dow finished the week at up 320 points or 1.8% at 17,897 from 17,577 last week, and it is up 2.7% for the year. The Nasdaq finished the week at 4,938 up 88 points or 1.8% from 4,851 last week, and it is down -1.4% for the year. The S&P 500 finished the week up 33 points or 1.6% at 2,081 from 2,048 last week, and it is up 1.8% for the year. The Russell 2000 finished the week at 1,128 up 34 points or 3.1% from 1,094 last week, and it is down -0.7% for the year.
In economic news, a 4.9% increase in import fuel prices in March helped drive a 0.2% increase in the price index for U.S. imports. Excluding fuel, import prices declined 0.1% for the third straight month. Export prices were unchanged in March after declining 0.5% in February. Excluding agriculture, the price index for nonagricultural exports rose 0.3%. The Treasury Budget for March showed a deficit of $108.0 billion, which was more than double the deficit of $52.9 billion seen in the same period a year ago. The producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.1% in March, and excluding food and energy, producer prices were also down 0.1% after being unchanged in February. Total retail sales declined 0.3% in March after being unchanged in February. Excluding autos, retail sales were up a weaker than expected 0.2% after also being unchanged in February. The Retail Sales report for March was pretty disappointing, offering further evidence that consumer spending and economic activity overall was pretty weak in the first quarter. The Consumer Price Index for March showed only a 0.1% increase for the all items index. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, was up only 0.1% after a 0.3% increase in February.
Initial claims for the week ending April 9 were 253,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending April 2 dropped to 2.171 million, a decrease of 18,000 from the prior week. The initial claims data is supportive of a strengthening labor market and suggests nonfarm payroll growth should continue to be above 200,000. The Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report for March was disappointing. Total production declined 0.6% and total industry capacity utilization was just 74.8%. The preliminary reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for April dropped to 89.7 from 91.0 in March and 95.9 in the same period a year ago.
There were several market movers in the financial sector reporting 1Q 2016 earnings this week. JPMorgan Chase reported first quarter net income of $5.5 billion or $1.35 per diluted share compared with $5.4 billion or $1.32 per share in the same quarter last year. Bank of America reported net income of $2.2 billion or $0.21 per diluted share compared with $2.7 billion or $0.25 per share last year. Wells Fargo reported net income of $5.5 billion or $0.99 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2016 compared with $5.8 billion or $1.04 per share in the same quarter last year. Lastly, Citi Group reported net income of $3.5 billion or $1.10 per diluted share compared with $4.8 billion or $1.51 per share in the first quarter of 2015.
No conferences of note will be taking place this week.
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, has continued its weekly jump in volume last week as it traded over 52,000 shares versus an average of 40,000 shares per week.
Spotlight finished the week at $0.51.
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 and the Toronto Venture Exchange last week. On the bulletin board it traded over 87,000 shares on Wednesday- that’s more than eleven times its three-month average daily volume. It typically trades around 8,000 shares a day. It also traded a lot on the venture exchange, especially on Wednesday as it traded over 149,000 shares- about three times its three-month average daily volume.
Opsens closed the week at $0.98 on the OTCQX under OPSSF and $1.24 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: Spotlight Innovation, ten thousand dollars cash per month. Opsens, fifteen thousand dollars cash.