​This Week in Emerging Growth: And Lo, the Road to Paradise Was Paved With Gas Furnace Factories in Indiana

Joel Anderson  |

What a week! Donald Trump headed to Indiana for a victory lap after his Vice President kept 1,000 jobs in the state with $7 million in tax breaks, OPEC finally cut a deal to slash production that had oil prices climbing, and the jobs report on Friday showed 180,000 new jobs, with unemployment falling to 4.6%, its lowest level since August of 2007. Labor participation remains low, edging down again in November, so the rosy numbers aren’t all they seem to be. That said, wages bounced by 2.5%, year-over-year, so it’s a mixed bag. But then, that’s also been the story for pretty much every jobs report for the last seven or eight years, so this is nothing new.

Russell 2000 This Week: -29.53 (2.2%) to 1,314.25

S&P 500 Same Period: -15.71 (0.71%) to 2,191.95

Top Reads of the Week

Deals Recap:

  • Monoclonal antibody developer Innovent Biologics raised $260 million in a series D round led by State Development & Investment Corporation.
  • E-commerce company Inagora raised $26 million in a series B round led by WiL.
  • Development-stage medical device company Valtech Cardio was acquired by Edwards Lifesciences (EW) for $690 million.
  • Video sharing platform Beme was acquired by CNN.com for $25 million.
  • Consumer electronics warranty provider SquareTrade was acquired by The Allstate Corporation (ALL) for $1.4 billion.
  • Provider of web and cloud solutions for the federal government Aquilent was acquired by Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) for $250 million.
  • Saas-based media operational efficiency company Operative Media was acquired by SintecMedia for $200 million.
  • Pharmaceutical tracing SaaS platform TraceLink raised $51.5 million in a series C round led by Goldman Sachs (GS).
  • Data company Civis Analytics raised $22 million in a series A round led by Drive Capital.
  • Consumer products cataloguer Product Hunt was acquired by AngelList for $20 million.
  • Online home-selling service Opendoor raised $210 million in a series D round led by Norwest Venture Partners.
  • Customer communication platform SendGrid raised $33 million in a series D round led by Bain Capital Ventures.
  • Smartwatch interface customizer Pebble was acquired by Fitbit for $40 million.
  • Augmented and virtual reality company Osterhout Design Group raised $58 million in a series A round led by 21st Century Fox.
  • Medical device company Impel NeuroPharma raised $36 million in a series C round led by 5AM Ventures.

Emerging Growth News:

  • As mentioned in the intro, OPEC finally managed to reach a deal to slash production, a move that sent oil prices up by almost 9% on Wednesday and then another 7% on Thursday. That had small-cap and independent oil producers climbing with them, particularly in North America, where fracked oil has a much higher break-even price than elsewhere.
  • Clinical-stage biotech company Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR) tanked almost 70% this week after it announced it would be discontinuing three of its hepatitis B treatments after a clinical hold was placed on one of its studies.
  • It was the tail of two apparel companies this week. Or, rather, three apparel companies reporting earnings and two different market responses. Express (EXPR), Tilly’s (TLYS), and Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) all issued quarterly reports, but not all were greeted the same. Tilly’s beat revenue expectations and jumped over a third as a result, and Ascena missed analyst estimates but managed to add over 20% to shares on Friday because, well, I guess expectations are pretty low for investors after the company shed half its value over the last year. Not so for Stock in Express, though, which made no stops en route to a more-than 20% decline after revenue and net income were sharply lower.
  • HR management and automation solutions company Zenefits was ordered to stop offering free use of its software in the state of Washington. The state’s inducement laws prohibit a provider from offering incentives that would significantly undermine the competitiveness of the rest of the industry. Bummer, sure, but I suppose it’s good press that your product is so good that it might disrupt the entire industry.

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