Daily Market Commentary for June 4, 2012
The Paycheck Fairness Act - which seeks to shrink the pay gap between men and women - got a boost from President Obama on Monday when he urged Congress to pass the bill on a conference call with supporters. (read more at Millennium-Traders.Com)
U.S. factories orders for goods produced decreased 0.6% in April, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Factory orders were revised lower by 2.1% in March, down from a prior estimate of a 1.5% decline. Orders for durable goods which is for products meant to last at least three years, remained flat during April and orders for nondurable goods moved lower by 1.1%.
According to a monthly labor-market report released Monday by the Conference Board, a gauge of employment trends rose in May, signaling that jobs growth may not slow further in coming months. The private research group reported its employment-trends index, which is designed to forecast turning points in employment, increased 0.29 % in May from the prior month. "Employers have been very cautious in hiring in the past two months, but at the moment, economic activity in the U.S. is just strong enough to require a modestly growing workforce," said Gad Levanon, macroeconomic research director at the Conference Board. Versus previous year, the index is 7.6% higher. The employment-trends index is made up of eight labor-market indicators, five of which made positive contributions in May, led by the percentage of firms with positions they are not able to fill right now.
The trustee leading the bankruptcy case for MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGLQ), James Giddens, is accusing the firm and its top management of a 'breach of fiduciary duty and negligence'. Giddens describes a brokerage with a 'lack of sufficient monitoring and systems' As refreshing and honest as Giddensís claims are, the threat of a lawsuit wonít assuage investors burned by what seems to have been clear wrongdoing at the firm. To date, regulators, including the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, continue to move slowly against MF Global and Corzine. The CFTC sued the clearing arm of MF Global in March. The SEC and CFTC have hinted that more 'enforcement' actions may be coming. Key point could be MF Globalís statement that it had strong liquidity just before it went bankrupt as it had $1.3 billion in book value but a $41 billion balance sheet. Like so many MF Global claims, that liquidity assertion looks patently false in the aftermath. Unless Corzine and his team are held accountable, no firm need view itself as required to make truthful claims.
On Tuesday, the G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors will hold a conference call on the European debt crisis, per a spokeswoman for Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Monday. "I've been having discussions and I will have more discussions tomorrow morning and subsequently with my G-7 colleagues," Flaherty told reporters. "Those discussions also take place with some of the non-European members of the G20 ... who are concerned around the world outside of the euro zone with the potential consequences of a crisis in the euro zone, particularly a banking crisis," he added. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department declined comment on the statement from Flaherty's office.
Immunogen Inc. (IMGN:NASDAQ said its investigational treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other B-cell malignancies showed improved safety and performance under a modified dosing schedule. At the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the company reported the data from an extension of a Phase I study. The data established the dosing schedule for clinical trials with partner Sanofi-Aventis SA (SNY:NYSE). As part of a broader collaboration, the compound--SAR3419--was developed by Immunogen and licensed to Sanofi. Immunogen technology is designed to deliver a cancer-fighting drug directly to the cancer cell, providing a stronger punch while limiting side-effects often associated with chemotherapy. The company reported that patients that were administered the treatment weekly for four weeks and then every two weeks for another four doses showed more improvement than patients dosed weekly. "We believe the findings reported today support that SAR3419 has the potential to become an important new therapy for key B-cell malignancies," said ImmunoGen President and Chief Executive Daniel Junius said. "These findings also add to the growing body of clinical data supporting that the utility of our TAP technology--and the depth of our product opportunities--extend well beyond any one compound to multiple types of cancers, antibodies, and product designs."
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