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Archive for August, 2018

Equity Price Patterns of 39 Companies with Ties to Construction

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

There’s nothing complicated about today’s article. It simply examines, with the aid of the accompanying table, the latest 12-month performances of the share prices of nearly 40 well-known companies.


The 39 firms have been arranged alphabetically according to their primary industrial activity. Not all sectors are represented. One obvious omission is ‘health care’. CVS and Walgreens-Boots under ‘General Retail’ will have to serve as proxies.

But there has been an attempt to capture companies with direct or indirect (i.e., through capital spending on manufacturing facilities, retail space, etc.) ties to construction.

For each company, the two right-hand, percentage-change columns compare the current share price with: (1) the latest 12-month low; and (2) the latest 12-month high.

With respect to 12-month lows, percentage changes that are 50.0% or more have been shaded lightly in gray.

With respect to 12-month highs, percentage changes that are -20.0% or more steeply negative have been shaded in red.


12 Mid-August Economic Nuggets

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

The U.S. quarter-to-quarter annualized advance in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of this year was an outsized +4.1%. It was the fastest leap forward since 2014’s third quarter jump of +4.9%. Some of the strength has been attributed to exports that were shipped early to beat target dates for the imposition of tariffs.

12 Mid-August Economic Nuggets Graphic

Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that America’s economy is presently firing smoother on more cylinders than it has in a long time. And even when problems do crop up, such as a potential Turkish currency crisis, they are – to all outward appearances − being dealt with and hustled aside quickly.

The foregoing is not to imply that there are no nagging points of concern. After all, inflation is shaking off its long slumber and preparing to possibly initiate trouble. The all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) in July was +2.9% year over year. Even the ‘core’ rate (+2.4%), which omits volatile food and energy components, exceeded the +2.0% level favored by the Federal Reserve.


July the Year’s Best Month To-date for Employment Gain in Canada

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Article source: ConstructConnect

Total employment in Canada recorded the best month-to-month increase so far this year in July, +54,000 jobs, according to the latest Labour Force Survey results published by Statistics Canada.

Prior to July, the best month-to-month improvements in 2018 had occurred in March and June, tied at +32,000 jobs.

The pick-up in hiring in July was entirely in part-time work (+82,000 jobs), as the number of positions classified as full-time suffered a setback (-28,000).


Manufacturing and Construction Both Winners in U.S. July Jobs Report

Friday, August 3rd, 2018
Article source: ConstructConnect

The lead paragraph of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s July Employment Situation  report highlights that total nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. rose by 157,000 jobs during the latest month.

U.S. July Jobs Report Graphic

And that the unemployment rate declined again to 3.9% from 4.0% in June. The lowest the unemployment rate has reached in this cycle was 3.8% two months ago, in May.

Historically, the U.S. unemployment rate never falls much lower. The last time it was 3.8% was in April of 2000. Eighteen years have passed since then.

The seasonally adjusted (SA) unemployment rate through the first seven months of this year has averaged 4.0%. During the same time frame of last year, it was 4.5%.

Disconnect Between High-tech’s Influence and the High-tech Sector’s Jobs Creation

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
Article source: ConstructConnect

Computers, the Internet and other high-tech advances have profoundly affected the workaday lives of every one of us.

Many of the thought-leaders who have sparked the innovation waves have become celebrities beyond the confines of the business sector. And their companies have been richly rewarded through enormous increases in the value of their shares on the major stock markets.

Never mind that Netflix and Facebook have recently had some setbacks, the FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google), along with many others (Twitter, Uber), have soared in value over the past decade-plus.

We’ve been living through a new industrial revolution. But there has long been one quibble raised by economists and others about these transformative times.

Historically, the birth of the auto industry, with its accompanying need for assembly plants, steel mills and gasoline stations, generated millions of new jobs.

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