The past couple of trading sessions have resulted in S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) moves that are opposite of the day's reported economic data (i.e., poor economic data leading to an S&P 500 rise, and vice versa). Today's move lower, however, finally made a bit of sense, and correlated with the day's data releases.
On one hand, initial weekly jobless claims continued to impress, with a drop of 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000. This was more or less in line with Wall Street's expectations, and would certainly imply the potential for the U.S. unemployment rate to head even lower.
Personal income was also a bright spot with an increase in May of 0.4%, right in line with expectations. The idea here is that, if personal income is rising, then consumers may be more likely to spend their disposable income. Since consumer spending comprises about 70% of U.S. GDP, the rise of personal income is an important step to continued economic growth.
Yet, personal spending proved to be a disappointment, with an increase of just 0.2% in May. Although this was a nice improvement from the flat reading in April, forecasts had projected slightly higher levels of consumer spending. This weaker figure could have negative implications for retailers and leisure companies if it continues beyond just May.
After spending the entire day in negative territory, the S&P 500 wound up dipping by 2.31 points (-0.12%), to close at 1,957.22. Despite the dip, this marks only the third time in the past 10 sessions that the S&P 500 has ended lower.
Topping all individual gainers today was storage and information management provider Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM ) , which gained 20.1% after announcing a favorable private-letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service allowing it to convert to a real estate investment trust, or REIT. In return for not having to pay high corporate tax rates, REITs return at least 90% of their profits to shareholders in the form of a dividend.
Excluding its 2014 special distribution, Iron Mountain anticipates its full-year 2014 distribution at $400 million to $420 million. This compares with a prior projection of $207 million in dividend disbursements. As my Foolish colleague Travis Hoium noted earlier today, nothing has fundamentally changed with Iron Mountain's business model; but after years of trying to convert to a REIT, shareholders will finally be able to capitalize on a healthy dividend.
Following behind Iron Mountain was tissue engineering company Organovo Holdings (NYSEMKT: ONVO ) , which jumped 11.7% after announcing the first public opinion from a key opinion leader for its 3-D liver assay test in an 8-K filing. According to Dr. Adrian Roth, Organovo's 3-D liver system was able to distinguish between a toxic drug known to cause drug-induced liver injury from a similar chemical analogue that's non-toxic at physiologically relevant doses. In other words, this was a resounding endorsement of the product.
Most importantly, though, Organovo reaffirmed that it's on track to launch its 3-D liver assay test before the end of 2014. Investors have certainly been offered plenty of promise with Organovo; but following its huge run-up, they'll probably want to see steady revenue generation and a reduction in quarterly losses before they're willing to push shares even higher.
Finally, smartphone game and app developer Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU ) surged 9.9% on the day after it announced an expansion of its game services to Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) Android TV platform. According to the press release, Glu's Deer Hunter 2014 and Eternity Warriors 2 will be immediately available on the platform, with additional games in development. The games also feature the CloudSave feature allowing gamers to save their games on one device, and continue using another device.
Partnering with Google on its Android TV platform is a strong move for Glu to get additional eyeballs to its product, and a wise move on Google's part to attract younger eyeballs. Investors should also understand, however, that developing even free-to-play mobile games can be hit-or-miss. In other words, Glu will impress shareholders with periods of strong growth, but investors should expect that there could be quarters where Glu fails to impress.
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