June 14, 2019 7:37am

Geo-political events are weighing upon this market and its participants

News: The battle for the sickle cell disease therapy, bluebird bio (BLUE) and Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) <read more> issue updates

Pre-open indications: 4 BUYs and 1 SELL

Insight from what's likely to remain a volatile climate


The upside versus the downside, I would settle for sideways as FLATS could be the new winners in this market.


Dow futures are DOWN -0.19% (-49 points), S&P futures are DOWN -0.28% (-9 points) and NASDAQ futures are also DOWN -0.75% (-57 points)


U.S. stock futures are lower on the final trading day of the week, with investors monitoring attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and reacting to economic data out of China.

European stocks traded lower as tensions heightened between the U.S. and Iran with the pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.5%

Asia Pacific markets were declined on oil pricing trembles, although Australia advanced


Data docket: retail sales and industrial production data for May, as well as the consumer sentiment index for June.



Market “players” are closely watching geopolitical events, with attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East giving oil prices a boost.

  • Worldwide focus is on the Middle East, as Norwegian and Japanese-owned oil tankers suffered explosions near the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. blamed Iran for the attacks.

What more can I say, we are “under the thumb” of headlines and they … “ain’t ours”!


From Thursday night’s post, “upward motion … while downside moves were de minimus while the upside added strength through volume.”

  • The close was positive with an A/DL of 32/10 and 1 flat and 2 acquired;
  • Thursday’s range of the 32 upside was +0.06% (BMRN) to +9% (BTX) while the 10 downside ranged from -0.29% (RARE) to -2.82% (PSTI);
  • 7 out of the 32 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • 2 out of the 10 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology (IBB) indicator:  closed up +0.75% after Wednesday’s +0.61%, Tuesday’s -0.49%, Monday’s -0.60% after Friday’s +1.62%;


Q2/19 so far:

  • In June, there were 5 positive, 1 neutral and 3 negative close, so far;
  • In May, there were 14 negative, 1 holiday and 8 positive closes;
  • In April, there has been 10 positive and 11 negative closes;


News from title (continues):

bluebird bio  (BLUE) new data from patients in Group C of its ongoing P1/2 HGB-206 study of the company’s investigational LentiGlobin® gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD): patients who were at least six months post-treatment with LentiGlobin for SCD, median level of abnormal sickle hemoglobin (HbS) was reduced to ≤50% of total Hb. At up to 15 months post-treatment with LentiGlobin, there were NO reports of serious vasoocclusive crisis or acute chest syndrome in Group C.

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) new results from its P3 HOPE Study of voxelotor in patients ages 12 and older with sickle cell disease (SCD): The findings from 274 adolescents and adults treated with voxelotor showed the HOPE Study met its primary endpoint of an improvement in hemoglobin greater than 1 g/dL at 24 weeks with voxelotor 1500 mg compared with placebo, with a favorable safety and tolerability profile. In the study, voxelotor provided a rapid, statistically significant and sustained improvement in hemoglobin levels and reduced the incidence of worsening anemia and hemolysis.


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

Applied Genetic Technologies (AGTC) closed up +$0.09 to $3.99 after Wednesday’s +$0.04 to $3.81 after Tuesday’s -$0.07 to $3.77, Monday’s $3.80, Friday’s $3.63 and last Thursday’s $3.60  – I’d be building a position as clinical date results are due in 2nd half – Maintaining BUY;

BioLife Solutions (BLFS) closed up +$0.38 to $17.76 after Wednesday’s -$0.19 to $17.38 after Tuesday’s-$0.58 to $17.57, Monday’s $18.15 and last Friday’s $18.46 –Maintaining BUY;

bluebird bio (BLUE) closed up +$6.48 to $123.94 after Wednesday’s  -$1.00 to $117.46 after Tuesday’s $118.46,  Monday’s $118.31 and last Friday’s $126.43. See title in news above - Maintaining BUY;

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) closed up +$2.70 to $57.52 after Wednesday’s $54.82, Tuesday’s $55.81, Monday’s $57.24 and last Friday’s $59.97 following the previous Thursday’s $60.06. GBT has a negative -$2.56 or -4.45% pre-market indication, see news above – SELL;

ReNeuron (RENE.L) closed down -$12.50 to $232.50 after Tuesday’s +$15.00 to $245.00, Monday’s -$25.00 to $230.00, Friday’s -$10.50 and last Thursday -$10.50. RENE.L has a time differential trading with a pre-market upside value of +$8.20SELL to 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.