March 13, 2019 7:40am

Be prepared, Friday is “quadruple witching” time, Brexit and LPS (loss-per-share) earnings from quarterly and FY18 results

Beware the Ides of March, it’s coming

Cowen Healthcare conference in Boston, Ma rolls-on with many company presentations

Pre-open indications:   4 SELLs and 3 TRADEs


I focus on indication analysis; an indication can be a development of almost any kind. Specifically, it may be a confirmed fact, a possible fact, or an absence of “something”, a fragment of information or even an observation. The sole provision is that it provides insight to provide some vision into a likely course of action.

Skim if you can trim, buy if it will fly and sell if compelled!


U.S. stock index futures are still higher even with uncertainties lingering over Brexit and Boeing

Dow futures are UP +0.09% (+22 points), S&P futures are UP +0.16% (+5 points) and NASDAQ futures are UP +0.18% (+13 points)


European markets traded mixed after the U.K.’s Brexit deal with the EU was rejected by lawmakers in a landmark defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Indexes in Australia, China, Japan and South Korea fell on Wednesday amid fresh uncertainties after U.K. lawmakers again rejected the terms of a deal for Britain to withdraw from the European Union.


Data docket: Durable goods orders and producer price index numbers are due at 8:30 a.m. ET, followed by construction spending data at 10 a.m. ET.


Wednesday’s indications in the pre-market:

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) is indicating a POSITIVE +0.82% UPSIDE;

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) is indicating is indicating a POSITIVE +1.04% UPSIDE;

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) is indicating a POSITIVE +0.73% UPSIDE;

The iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) is indicating a POSITIVE +0.01% UPSIDE



Dow futures implied an open of less than 5 points. Futures on S&P 500 and NASDAQ were also relatively flat. U.S. stocks have been under pressure after Boeing posted another sharp decline amid worries over the safety of one of its most popular airplanes.

investor attention is firmly focused on the fallout from the U.K.’s decision to reject its Brexit deal with the EU on Tuesday evening. The agreement was rejected by 149 votes after 242 MPs voted for the deal and 391 MPs voted against it. British MPs will now vote on Wednesday on whether to leave the EU without a deal. If they reject that option, as expected, MPs will then get to vote on Thursday on whether to request a delayed departure from the EU <CNBC>.

From Tuesday’s closing bell post, “Sector breadth strengthens yet volatility looms; however, “quadruple witching” is coming on the third Friday (3/15) of the month as contracts for stock-index futures, stock-index options, individual stock options and individual stock futures all expire.”

  • Range of the 30 upside was +0.10% (AXGN) to +16.83% (STML) while the 13 downside ranged from -0.03% (KOOL) to -11.65% (BSTG).
  • 8 out of the 30 upside had higher (than the 3 month average) volume
  • 2 out of the 13 downside experienced greater volume (than the 3 month average)
  • In March, there were 2 negative and 6 positive closes;
  • In the last two (2) sessions, the IBB was up +2.96% after four (4) down sessions aggregated to -4.8%


Companies in my headlights – It’s your decision; I provide an idea and context:

Cellectis SA (CLLS) closed up +$0.35 to $18.71 after Monday’s+$0.32 to $18.36 following Q4 and FY18 results were released but, there is a negative -$0.55 or -2.92% aftermarket indications – Maintaining SELL;

CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) closed up +$0.34 to $39.41 after Monday’s +$1.34 to $39.04 and has a negative -$0.34 or -0.85% indication – TRADE;

Editas Medicine (EDIT) closed up +$0.43 to $24.27 after Monday’s +$1.24 to $23.84 with a negative -$0.07 or -0.29% aftermarket indication.  Reiterating, I listened to their presentation at Cowen and was NOT impressed - BLAND and its timing to IND – TRADE;

Intellia therapeutics (NTLA) closed up +$0.25 to $16.83 after Monday’s +$0.89 to $16.58 with a positive +$0.26 or +1.54% aftermarket indication – TRADE;

Stemline Therapeutics (STML) closed up +$1.86 to $12.91 after Monday’s $0.57 to $11.05 and Friday’s +$0.60 to $11.62 and had news, Monday a.m. of expanding its oncology pipeline in that it has exclusively licensed worldwide rights to develop and commercialize a novel, oral, selective small molecule RET (rearranged during transfection) kinase inhibitor from the CRT Pioneer Fund LP, a £70 million specialist oncology investment fund managed by Sixth Element Capital, a UK based fund manager. The RET inhibitor was rationally designed by scientists at Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom). The preclinical compound has been designated SL-1001 and is expected to enter the clinic in 2020. STML has a positive +$0.09 or +0.70% aftermarket indication and in four sessions has a strength premium of $1.89 – BUY to SELL;

ReNeuron (RENE.L) closed (Tuesday) down at $74.50 after Monday’s $82.50. Wednesday’s pre-open -$4.99 to $69.51 - Maintaining SELL;

Verastem Oncology (VSTM) closed up +$0.27 to $3.24 however, Q4 and FY18 was NOT quite up to snuff - A Q4 loss of $11.7 M or $0.37 per share versus “street” estimate of a loss of $0.54 compares to loss of $0.43 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items. This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 31.48%. VSTM posted revenues of $1.21 M for Q4 missing the consensus of $5.6 M. This compares to zero revenues a year ago. For FY18, VSTM reported that its loss widened to $72.4 M, or $1.37 per share. Revenue was reported as $26.7 M. The aftermarket was a negative -$0.58 or -17.90% indication - SELL


Opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change, and not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

Whether information or intelligence is good, bad or somewhere in between; I put into context what is relevant and useful for investors.  All investments are subject to risks. Investors should consider investment objectives.

Henry McCusker, the editor and publisher of RegMed Investors does not hold or have positions in securities referred to in this publication.