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Retail Pharma Sales Grew 5% to Over $379 billion Annual Rate

IMS Health reported $379.29 billion in drug sales through retail pharmacies in 13 key markets in the 12-month period from August 2005 through to August 2006, a 5% growth from year ago.  

Sales in the top five European markets showed a 4% constant exchange growth. North America posted a 6% sales growth at $204.85 billion in sales in the 12 months to August. The key therapy growth area for North America was the cytostatics group with a 15% growth at constant exchange. Japan's overall growth at constant exchange was 2%, with $57.14 billion sales in the 12 months to August 2006. 

Continue reading... "Retail Pharma Sales Grew 5% to Over $379 billion Annual Rate" »

VC Funding for MobiTV, Ugenie, QSecure, Nethra, PBWiki and more...

Next Big Thing: VC Deal Flow

MobiTV (mobile television and music services): $30 million
Nethra (chips process images on cellphones): $14.2 million
PBWiki (wiki hosting company): $350,000
NebuAd (online advertising solutions): $6.1 million
Ugenie (online shopping engine): $5 million
QSecure (credit card authentication tech.): $10 million
Mint Software (online personal finance mgmt.): $750,000
More VC Insights at: PE Week, VentureBeat

Unemployment Rate Drops to 5-Year Low of 4.4%; Service Sector Grows Faster

U.S. unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 4.4% in October as employers added 92,000 new jobs, according to the Labor Department. The report showed that the civilian unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point from 4.6% in September. The 4.4% unemployment rate was the lowest since the spring of 2001.

Continue reading... "Unemployment Rate Drops to 5-Year Low of 4.4%; Service Sector Grows Faster" »

Semiconductor Sales Remained Strong at $21.4 Billion in Sept.

Global chip sales rose to a new monthly high of $21.4 billion, an increase of 9.3% from September 2005, and a 4.2% from August 2006 on strong demand for consumer products, including cell phones, MP3 players, and personal computers, according to data released by Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Year-to-Year Sales (Sept. 2006 - $ billions)

Market Sep.2005 Sep.2006 % Change

Americas

3.45

3.89

12.9%

Europe

3.29

3.41

3.7%

Japan

3.70

4.05

9.4%

Asia Pacific

9.12

10.02

9.8%

Total

19.56

21.37

9.3%

Source: Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), Nov 2006

Continue reading... "Semiconductor Sales Remained Strong at $21.4 Billion in Sept." »

Were Stocks to Follow Housing Market, S&P Would Trade Below 700!

Real estate downturns have a way of leading to recessions and stock market slumps, reports Fortune. Check this chart from Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co., that plots the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market index - a monthly measure of builder confidence - against the Standard & Poor's 500 stock market index, with a one-year lag. 

It turns out that the mood of builders is a terrific stock market bellwether: The correlation between current builder confidence and future stock market returns over the past ten years is downright unnerving. Why worry now? Over the past year, the NAHB housing index plummeted 54%. Were stocks to follow suit, the S&P - 1400 in late October - would be trading below 700 this time next year. 

Continue reading... "Were Stocks to Follow Housing Market, S&P Would Trade Below 700!" »

World Wide Web Sites Crossed 100 million Milestone This Month, from 10 million in 2000

The total number of web sites has crossed the 100 million milestone, gaining 3.5 million sites last month, according to Netcraft's November survey. In the November 2006 survey, netcraft received responses from 101,435,253 sites, up from 97.9 million sites last month.

Continue reading... "World Wide Web Sites Crossed 100 million Milestone This Month, from 10 million in 2000" »

U.S. Economic Calendar & Key Economic Indicators - Week of Oct.30

The Big Picture: US Economic Indicators

Mon 10/30 Personal Income (Sep): Up 0.5%
Mon 10/30 Personal Spending (Sep): Up 0.1%
Tue 10/31 Employment Cost Index (Q3): up 1.0%
Wed 11/1 Construction Spending (Sep): down 0.3%
Wed 11/1 Auto Sales (Sep): up 6.1% to 1.2M
Wed 11/2 Factory Orders (Sep): up 2.1% to $411B
Thu 11/2 Labor Costs (Sep): up 3.8%, up 5.3% in 1 Yr.
Thu 11/2 Productivity (Q3): Flat, 1.3% Growth Y/Y
Thu 11/2 Jobless Claims (week of 10/28): up 18k to 327k
Fri 11/3 Nonfarm Payrolls Added (Oct): down at 92,000
Fri 11/3 Hourly Earnings (Oct): $16.91, up 0.4%
Fri 11/3 Unemployment Rate (Oct): Feel to 4.4%, 5yr low
More Econ Insights at: Haver Analytics

Unused Gift Cards Are The New Billion-$Dollar Business

The most-popular gift for 2006 holiday season, favored by 73% of shoppers, is clothing, closely followed by gift cards favored by 60% of shoppers, according to The Consumer Reports' Holiday Shopping poll. About 23.3 million Americans have unused gift cards from last year's holidays--that's at least $972 million in unredeemed cards. Indeed, 54% of respondents received gift cards for the 2005 holidays. Nearly a year later, 19% of the gift-card recipients have not used one or more of the cards received.

Continue reading... "Unused Gift Cards Are The New Billion-$Dollar Business" »

WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Nov.03

A compendium of revealing stats and the key leading economic indicators and business metrics based on today's Wall Street Journal article and reports:

Private-Equity Funds Set Record: As of yesterday, 278 U.S. private-equity funds had raised $177.89 billion, according to Private Equity Analyst, breaking the 2000 fund-raising record when 630 funds raised a total of $177.75 billion. This year leveraged-buyout funds have collected 66%, or $118.05 billion, of the capital raised so far, whereas venture-capital firms have collected only 13%, or $23.7 billion. Investors expect private-equity firms to end up raising between $200 billion and $225 billion for the full year.

Continue reading... "WSJ By The Numbers - Top 10 for Nov.03" »

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