Chinese Growth Companies Led The Way In 2009 New-Issue Market and A Dizzying Fall And Rebound

–(– 01/01/2010 – Financial News industry news provided by Financial News USA. After the disaster of September 2008, new issues were nearly non-existent for two quarters. But IPOs began to blossom in the spring.

The pace of new issues picked up toward the end of the year. Come December, 2009 recorded more IPOs than 2008, though due to 2008’s huge Visa (V) offering, it didn’t raise as much money.

The new-issue count of 66 was still anemic by historical standards, the second lowest number in the last 30 years after 2008. But analysts see things moving in the right direction.

Traders gather at the New York Stock Exchange specialist post Oct. 28, 2009, for the debut of Vitamin Shoppe. View Enlarged Image

“In the last three months of 2009, not only did the pipeline grow severalfold, but the amount of IPOs that actually debuted grew exponentially from earlier in the year,” said Scott Sweet, managing partner with IPO Boutique.

The nature of the IPOs was eclectic, but several longer-term trends continued in 2009. [Read the full article]

The previous autumn saw financial, commodity and real estate markets unravel. An investor exodus to cash late in 2008 sent indexes plummeting. As 2009 began, industry group indexes had suffered, or were en route to, record-setting losses.

Mortgage lenders were headed for a 96% drop from their 2005 peak through March 2009. Commercial lenders and department stores would lose 86%. Steel producers and fiber-optic telecom suppliers brooked 84% declines.

Many investors and consumers lost what seemed everything: jobs, homes, lifetimes of hard-earned savings.

Rows of Ford cars, made by the joint venture of Ford and ChangAn Auto, sit at a parking lot in Chongqing, China. Automakers are still struggling, but… View Enlarged Image

But few years have seen as vast a turn in investor sentiment. The year began in uncertainty, fear, even panic as the debt-freighted U.S. economy teetered atop a dark, slippery slope. [Read the full article]

At one end are contract research organizations, or CROs, which conduct clinical trials of new drugs for biopharma companies.

At the other end are pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). They negotiate drug prices for insurers and employers and ship prescriptions to their clients’ members and employees.

Both are on the side of the angels in the contentious debate over the future structure and cost of health care, experts say.

CROs are in the business of determining whether drugs are safe and effective. They line up participating doctors and institutions, organize enrollment of patients, and collect and collate data that drug companies need for regulatory approval.

PBMs are in the business of ensuring that patients and their benefit providers get those drugs at the best possible prices.

For many reasons, 2010 should see improvements across the CRO sector, says Eric Coldwell, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. [Read the full article]

The clearest example is health care. As legislation to overhaul one-sixth of the economy contorted and morphed to pass the Senate, support plunged. The health bill may go through, but with midterm elections looming, other big items on the liberal agenda could stall.

Other areas of government intervention and possible expansion include the economy. Will the recovery need a second shot of stimulus?

1.  After a horrific bear market and one of the best recoveries in history, what can be expected of stocks in 2010?

The case for a continued rebound seems as persuasive as the argument for a significant correction.

Major indexes are near 52-week highs. But little conviction – manifested by few advances in strong volume – could be the market’s soft underbelly. [Read the full article] About Financial News USA

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