April 24, 2019 8:30am

I’d fold on some of yesterday’s and today’s “upsiders”- taking profits

Pre-open indications:  4 BUYs, 2 SELLs and 3 TRADEs

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


Dow futures are UP +0.17% (+46 points), S&P futures are UP +0.02% (+1 points) and NASDAQ futures are UP +0.04% (+3 points)


U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Wednesday morning, as market participants looked ahead to a deluge of corporate earnings;

European markets were mixed with the pan-European Stoxx 600 was flat during morning trade, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions;

Asian markets are mixed as Australia’s ASX 200 had its highest close in more than a decade;

Data docket: None


Wednesday’s ETF indications in the pre-market:

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) is NOT indicating;

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) is indicating a POSITIVE +0.36% UPSIDE;;

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) is indicating a POSITIVE +0.06 UPSIDE;

The iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) is indicating a POSITIVE +0.1% UPSIDE;



Sector focus is to maintain and sustain current highs – in a few cases it won’t matter which will be all about safety and selling into strength.

Market focus is largely attuned to earnings season, after better-than-feared figures from major companies in the previous session helped the NASDAQ and S&P 500 indexes reach record closing highs.

It’s mostly tech companies earnings today but, Biogen (BIIB) is releasing – a bellwether!

  • BIIB beat expectations on earnings and revenue as international sales of Spinraza, the first drug approved for treating spinal muscular atrophy, soared. The Massachusetts-based biotech company reported non-gaap earnings per share of $6.98 in the first quarter, higher than the average analyst estimate of $6.84. Sales of Spinraza — which rose 42 per cent year-on-year — helped Biogen beat the consensus forecast on revenue.

Healthcare stocks in that sector are down, in part, because of concerns about proposals by Bernie Sanders and other presidential candidates for radical changes to the U.S. health-care system.

But no matter what might be proposed, we are a long way off from actual legislation that could pass both houses of Congress to redesign 18% of the U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, the aging U.S. population and continual innovation underline an excellent long-term thesis for the health-care sector <MarketWatch>.

It is interesting that health care was last year’s best-performing sector. But there is no question it has lagged behind over the past three years.

The next obvious question is whether “our” universe is in the midst of the usual overreaction (?) or not – anxiety is growing re LPS (loss-per-share) earning’s release dates.

I see so far: BMRN – 4/25, ALNY – 5/1, SAGE – 5/2, ATHX – 5/8 and AXGN – 5/9 so far …


From Tuesday’s closing bell post, “sector rallies with volatility in our favor.”

  • Range of the 36 upside was +0.18% (MESO) to +16.08% (ATHX) while the 4 downside ranged from -0.37% (BLFS) to -2.14% (MDXG).
  • Tuesday: 13 out of the 36 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume
  • Monday: 1 out of the 20 upside had higher (than the 3 month average) volume
  • In April, there has been 7 positive and 9 negative closes – so far;
  • In March’s 21 sessions, there were 7 negative and 14 positive closes;


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

Athersys (ATHX) closed up +$0.23 to $1.66 after Monday’s +$0.04 to $1.43 announced its partner, HEALIOS K.K. has enrolled the first patient in its ONE-BRIDGE study in Japan, evaluating MultiStem® cell therapy treatment of patients who suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – on news, with a +$0.04 or +2.41% aftermarket indication - BUY to SELL into strength;

Regenxbio (RGNX) closed up +$2./12 to $52.60 after Monday’s -$4.26 to $50.39 with 1.27 M shares traded (3 month average = 646.9 K shares) with an -$0.41 or -0.81% aftermarket indication based on a second baby reportedly died in a study of Novartis' (NVS) gene therapy, Zolgensma — sending shares of Regenxbio (RGNX -$4.26 or -7.8%) into free fall – Maintaining SELL;

bluebird bio (BLUE) closed up +$3.57 to $139.09 after Monday’s -$1.54 to $135.52, Thursday’s $137.06,Wednesday’s $139.39 last Tuesday’s $154.02 and the previous Monday’s $153.32– Oversold – Maintaining BUY;

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) closed up +$4.25 to $87.41 after Monday’s +$1.09 to $83.16, Thursday’s-$2.82 to $82.10, Wednesday’s -$3.67 to $84.89, Tuesday’s +$0.03 to $88.56 and last Monday’s -$1.28 to $88.53 following news of positive complete results from the ENVISION phase III study of givosiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting aminolevulinic acid synthase 1 (ALAS1) for the treatment of acute hepatic porphyria (AHP) - Maintaining BUY;

CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) closed up +$1.43 to $38.68 after Monday’s +$0.99 to $37.25, Thursday’s -$0.17 to $36.26, last Wednesday’s -$2.65 to $36.43, the previous Tuesday’s +$1.93 to $39.08 and Monday’s -$0.76 to $37.15 considering the previous Friday’s +$0.40 to $37.91 with a negative -$0.68 or -1.76% indication in the aftermarket – profit taking TRADE;

Editas Medicine (EDIT) closed up +$1.12 to $27.44 after Monday’s +$0.52 to $26.32, Thursday’s +$0.08 to 425.80, Wednesday’s-$1.50 to $25.72, the previous Tuesday’s +$0.68 to $27.22 and Monday’s +$0.45 to $26.54 following the previous Friday’s +$0.60 to $26.09 with a negative  -$0.14 or -0.51%aftermarket indication. – Cash-out TRADE;

Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) closed up +$0.72 to $16.96 after Monday’s+$0.09 to $16.24 after Thursday’s -$0.06 to $16.15,  Wednesday’s -$1.18 to $16.21, Tuesday’s +$0.54 to $17.39 and last Monday’s -$0.16 to $16.86 following the previous Friday’s-$0.16 to $17.03 with NO aftermarket indication – TRADE;

ReNeuron holdings (RENE.L) closed up +$12.00 to $248.50 following Monday’s $2.36.50, Thursday’s $230.00, last Wednesday’s $2.26 – the a., open was pegged at +$1.50 - BUY

Verastem Oncology (VSTM) closed up +$0.13 to $ after Monday’s -$0.03 to $2.14, Thursday’s -$0.06 to $2.17, Wednesday’s-$0.23 to $2.23 and last Tuesday’s flat at $2.37 following the previous Monday’s -$0.26 to $2.37 as the previous Friday’s -$0.09 to $2.63 – VSTM just re-negotiated its debt vehicle with Hercules and a positive +$0.05 or +2.20% upside indication -  Maintaining BUY;


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.