U.S. Construction Spending Jumps Slightly More Than Expected In December

Gray Television To Acquire Quincy Media – Quick Facts

Gray Television, Inc. (GTN) has agreed to acquire Quincy Media, Inc. for $925 million. QMI is a family-owned media company headquartered in Quincy, Illinois. It owns and operates television stations and local digital platforms in 16 markets primarily in the Midwest. Gray expects that the Quincy transaction will be immediately accretive to the company’s free cash flow per share.

Gray Television said Wells Fargo has provided a debt financing commitment for an incremental loan to finance up to the full purchase price of $925 million. The company anticipates that its expected strong free cash flow generation throughout 2021 should allow it to continue to deleverage its capital structure following the closing.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens higher on energy, materials boost

Feb 1 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday buoyed by energy and materials stocks, as signs of a pick-up in demand made investors hopeful of a speedy economic recovery.

* At 9:31 a.m. ET (1431 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 212.32 points, or 1.22%, at 17,549.34.

Stock Alert: Quotient Down 12%

Shares of Quotient Ltd. (QTNT) are losing over 12% on Monday morning after the diagnostics company reported a third-quarter loss that was wider than Wall Street analysts’ estimates. Quotient also reported that the timing of its planned CE Mark submission for its Expanded Immunohematology microarray has been delayed, primarily due to various disruptions and burdens caused by the pandemic.

QTNT is currently trading at $5.33, down $0.73 or 12.05%, on the Nasdaq.

The company now expects to make this CE mark submission in the second quarter of calendar year 2021.

Net loss for the quarter was $29.76 million or $0.29 per share, wider than last year’s loss of $27.49 million or $0.37 per share. Third-quarter revenues were $8.75 million, up from $7.94 million last year. Analysts estimated a loss of $0.29 per share and revenues of $8.3 million.

The Black Lives Matter Movement Is Nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

As reported by CNN, which obtained the official nomination papers, Norwegian politician Petter Eide chose the organization “for their struggle against racism and racially motivated violence. … BLM’s call for systemic change have spread around the world, forcing other countries to grapple with racism within their own societies.”

A representative of the Socialist Left Party of Norway, Eide revealed to CNN that he nominated Black Lives Matter also because of the movement’s “legacy from both the Civil Rights movement in America and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.” He explained, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has always recognized a strong connection between racial justice and peace.”

The movement responded to the nomination on Twitter, writing, “We hold the largest social movement in global history. Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy. We’re only getting started.”

European Economics Preview: IMF World Economic Outlook Report Due

The World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund and the labor market statistics from the UK are due on Tuesday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

At 2.00 am ET, the Office for National Statistics releases UK labor market data. The jobless rate is forecast to rise to 5.1 percent in three months to November from 4.9 percent in three months to October.

At 3.00 am ET, December producer price data is due from Spain. Prices had dropped 2.8 percent on year in November.

Half an hour later, Statistics Sweden publishes producer prices for December. Economists forecast prices to fall 5.4 percent annually, following a 4.4 percent drop in November.

At 6.00 am ET, the Confederation of British Industry releases Distributive Trades survey results for January. The retail sales balance is seen at -28 percent versus -3 percent in December.

At 8.00 am ET, the International Monetary Fund publishes World Economic Outlook.

In the meantime, Hungary’s central bank announces its interest rate decision. The bank is expected to keep its key rate unchanged at 0.6 percent.

Herald morning quiz: February 2

Test your brains with the Herald’s morning quiz. Be sure to check back on at 3pm for the afternoon quiz.

To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

U.S. Construction Spending Jumps Slightly More Than Expected In December

Partly reflecting a spike in spending on residential construction, the Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing U.S. construction spending increased by slightly more than expected in the month of December.

The Commerce Department said construction spending jumped by 1.0 percent to an annual rate of $1.490 trillion in December after surging up by 1.1 percent to a rate of $1.476 billion in November. Economists had expected construction spending to climb by 0.9 percent.

Spending on private construction increased by 1.2 percent to a rate of $1.138 trillion, as a 3.1 percent spike in spending on residential construction more than offset a 1.7 percent slump in spending on non-residential construction.

The report said spending on public construction also rose by 0.5 percent to a rate of $352.8 billion, with spending on educational construction and highway construction climbing by 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

The Commerce Department said the value of construction in 2020 was $1.430 trillion, 4.7 percent above the $1.365 trillion spent in 2019.

“We look for a gradual recovery in private, nonresidential investment as the recovery takes hold, while we expect the pace of housing starts to moderate slightly,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

She added, “Public outlays will likely continue to be constrained by tight state and local budgets despite a better than expected performance for revenues during the pandemic.”