Chattanooga-based Unum to be deleted from S&P 500 index and more business news


Unum to drop out of S&P 500 index

Chattanooga-based Unum Group will be deleted from the S&P 500 index on Monday after Dow Jones reshuffled some of the stocks in the list due to changes in the market value of the companies.

To qualify for the index, a company must be in the United States and have an unadjusted market cap of at least $11.8 billion. Unum, the world’s biggest disability insurer, has been hurt by lower interest rates and increased claims in some areas and the company’s stock price is only about half of what it reached in early 2018.

Effective Sept. 20 to coincide with the fund’s quarterly rebalancing, Ceridian HCM Holding (CDAY) , Brown & Brown (BRO) and Match Group (MTCH) are being added to the index while the S&P500 is dropping Unum Group (UNM) , Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV) and Perrigo Company (PRGO)

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, studies have found that there are no significant declines in share values when firms are deleted from the S&P 500 index.

The only other company headquartered in the Chattanooga area on the S&P500 list is Mohawk Industries, the floorcovering company headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia and headed by Chattanoogan Jeffrey Lorberbaum.


Tennessee American Water replacing Dodds Ave. water line

Tennessee American Water began work this week to replace a water main on Dodds Avenue between East 37th Street and Rossville Boulevard.

The project involves installing 4,500 feet of 6-inch diameter pipe. The $1.3 million project will improve water service reliability and increase water flows for household use and firefighting, according to the company.

“Tennessee American Water is committed to upgrading the drinking water infrastructure and replacing aging water main is an important part of that commitment,” said Tennessee American Water Engineering Manager Grady Stout. “Replacement of water mains improves the delivery of water service to our customers and strengthens our

The project is expected to continue through the end of the year. For the safety of work crews, motorists and pedestrians in the area, Tennessee American Water encourages drivers and pedestrians to be extra cautious in the vicinity of work zones. The project will be completed by Tennessee American Water’s qualified pipe contractor, Mayse Construction Company.

The project is among about $25 million annually in capital improvement projects to maintain reliable water service for its Chattanooga area water users.


Dutch Bros Coffee jumps 50% in its stock debut

After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town and growing into a company with hundreds of drive-thru coffee shops, Dutch Bros Coffee on Wednesday launched an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

The offering drew an enthusiastic response from investors, who sent shares of the company up by more than 50% within hours. The company had an initial public offering price of $23. By the close of the day’s trading, the share price had jumped to about $37.

“It’s a mindblow, man,” Dutch Bros Coffee Executive Chairman Travis Boersma told KDRV, an Oregon TV station. “Who would have thought that you could take a coffee cart in a small little town like Grants Pass — really do what you hear about as you grow up as a kid, you know, the American dream — and actually go out and pull it off.”

“It’s surreal,” he added.


Industrial output slows to only a 0.4% gain

U.S. industrial production slowed to a 0.4% gain in August as shutdowns of petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants caused by Hurricane Ida curbed manufacturing activity.

Plant closures long the Gulf Coast as well as lost oil production during last month’s hurricane shaved 0.3 percentage points from output, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. Industrial output had risen a revised 0.8% in July.

Industrial production covers manufacturing, utilities and mining. For just manufacturing, factory output slowed to a tiny 0.2% gain, reflecting the hurricane impact and continuing supply chain problems. Factory output had risen a much stronger 1.6% in July.

Manufacturing has been hobbled this year due to snarled supply chains, particularly at auto plants where semiconductors needed for new cars have been in short supply.

Economists said problems, including labor shortages due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases at home and abroad continue to depress manufacturing activity.

Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that a rising infection rates in Asia appeared to be a key reason that Ford and General Motors were forced to announce expanded plant shutdowns in September amid a worsening semiconductor shortage.

“The industrial recovery is losing steam and with the delta variant causing disruption to global supply chains and Hurricane Ida weighing on oil production, a further slowdown looks likely in September,” Hunter said.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner


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