March 26, 2020 5:08pm
IND approvals assume clinical trial advancement as launches are delayed by pandemic outbreak; BLUE was the first to notice the pandemic push back of enrollment of its in-human studies, others will follow as well as those who lack monies to initiate
Pre-open indications: on target with news uniQure NV (QURE +$0.14), while Pluristem (PSTI -$0.16) and bluebird bio (BLUE -$0.75) dived
Market talk, ideas and opinions; volatility sketches a contradictory picture of the short-term
The Dow closed UP +1351.62 points (+6.38%), the S&P closed UP +154.51 points (+6.24%) while the NASDAQ closed UP +413.24 points (+5.60%)
Indexes shrugged off the release of record-breaking initial jobless claims surging for a third (3rd) straight day on Thursday as the Senate passed a massive economic stimulus bill which still needs a House of Representatives vote amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Labor Department’s unemployment benefit claims soared to 3.28 million last week past the Great Recession peak of 695,000.;
- We all knew it was going to be high;
- Volatility still rankles high with uncertainty overflowing the glass that was half full.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) tracked:
- Thursday’s down -2.95 or -4.61% to 61.00,
- Wednesday’s +1.65 or +2.69% at 63.33,
- Tuesday’s +0.18 or +0.32% at 61.88,
- Monday’s -4.45 points or -6.74% at 61.59,
- Last week, the VIX eclipsed its financial crisis high, closing at 82.69.
The sector’s Advance/Decline (A/D) line opened at 27/6 and 2 flats (BSTG, CLBS), met the mid-day at 28/6 and 1 flat (BLUE)and closed negative at 27/7 and 1 flat (GBT) of the 35 covered companies.
Defining pandemic disruption:
- The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases has surged Thursday to 69,000 after Wednesday’s 55,568 and Tuesday’s 46,500 while Thursday’s death count has broken higher at 1,00 following Wednesday’s 809 from Tuesday’s 590. <John Hopkins University>
Another quote to considered and thoughtfully read, ““The U.S. is still early on in the infection curve, and the recent rally in risk sentiment is at odds with this outlook. Markets will not stabilize without the spread of the pandemic slowing with an eye to lockdowns being lifted,” points out Eleanor Creagh, Australian market strategist at Saxo Bank. In other words, “don’t look for more rallies until this outbreak is under control.”
Renowned investor, Sir John Templeton’s advice that the time to buy is “when there’s maximum pessimism.” And, with the coronavirus pandemic sparking wild swings, that time is now.
However, for those who bought in to this week would probably agree when stocks are on their third straight day of gains but, do NOT forget the volume of the upside while non-directional and minimal is being determined by traders and electronics.
As the algorithms “rule”, the overbought will be STRIPPED of their upside in a speed equal to the precipitous downdrafts.
Today’s downsides – ReNeuron (RENE.L), Biostage (BSTG), bluebird bio (BLUE), Voyager therapeutics (VYGR), Pluristem (PSTI), Fate Therapeutics (FATE) and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM) …
Volume was non-directional as 8 out of the 27-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume while arbitrary as 4 out of the 7-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume.
As we react to this newest abnormal, review the stats (below) which send a message of continued uncertainty as electronic trading “machines” are still “ruling” our portfolios
Once the pandemic inflexion rate has lowered or flattened the curve will volatility relent and share pricing move to the next, of the next and next new normal!
The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology (IBB) and the SPDR S&P ETF (XBI) indicators:
- Thursday, the IBB closed up +4.70% and XBI also closed up +3.97%
- Wednesday, the IBB closed down -0.55% and XBI also closed up +1.55%
- Tuesday, the IBB closed up +5.25% and XBI also closed up +8.11%
- Monday, the IBB closed down -0.55% and XBI also closed down -0.80%
The advance/decline line scenario of 35 covered companies:
- Thursday, the close was positive with an A/D line of 27/7, 1 flat of 35 covered;
- Wednesday, the close was positive with an A/D line of 21/12, 2 flats of 35 covered;
- Tuesday, the close was positive with an A/D line of 32/3, 0 flat of 35 covered;
- Monday, the close was negative with an A/D line of 15/20, 0 flat of 35 covered;
Thursday’s (top 10) incliners:
- Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY +$8.43 after Wednesday’s -$1.16);
- Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS +$3.00 after Wednesday’s +$1.92, Tuesday’s +$3.23, Monday’s -$1.98, Friday’s -$2.49 and last Thursday’s +$2.61);
- CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP +$2.21 after Wednesday’s -$0.88, Tuesday’s +$3.21 and Monday’s +$0.58);
- Ultragenyx (RARE +$2.04 after Wednesday’s +$0.97, Tuesday’s +$3.36, Monday’s +$0.76, Friday’s-$0.87, Thursday’s +$3.30 and last Wednesday’s -$2.56),
- Vericel (VCEL +$1.25 after Wednesday’s +$1.06);
- Homology Medicine (FIXX +$1.08);
- Adverum Biotech (ADVM +$1.02 after Wednesday’s -$0.15);
- BioLife Solutions (BLFS +$0.90);
- Sage Therapeutics (SAGE +$0.62 after Wednesday’s +$0.97 and Tuesday’s +$3.21);
- Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA +$0.54);
Thursday’s (bottom 7) decliners:
- ReNeuron (RENE.L -$5.00 after Wednesday’s +$10.00, Tuesday’s +$24.50 and Monday’s -$7.00);
- Biostage (BSTG -$0.80);
- bluebird bio (BLUE -$0.75 after Wednesday’s -$1.50);
- Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR (-$0.28 after Wednesday’s +$0.69);
- Pluristem (PSTI -$0.16);
- Fate Therapeutics (FATE -$0.09 after Wednesday’s -$0.50 and Tuesday’s +$1.62);
- Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM -$0.05);
The percentage (%) indicators:
- Thursday’s range of the 27-upside was +0.24% (STML) to +14.22% (VCEL) while the 7-downside ranged from -0.38% (FATE) to -18.60% (BSTG -$0.80);
- Wednesday’s range of the 21-upside was +0.81% (SGMO) to +10% (RENE.L) while the 12-downside ranged from -0.33% (BLFS) to -5.04% (ADRO);
- Tuesday’s the range of the 32-upside was +0.43% (BCLI) to +32.45% (RENE.L) while the 3-downside ranged from -2.56% (ATHX) to -6.06% (MDXG);
- Monday’s the range of the 15-upside was +0.43% (BCLI) to +10.64% (FIXX) while the 20-downside ranged from -0.16% (GBT) to -22.71% (PGEN);
Upside volume stats: key numbers
- Thursday: 8 out of the 27-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
- Wednesday: 10 out of the 21-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
- Tuesday: 15 out of the 32-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
- Monday: 3 out of the 15-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
Downside volume stats:
- Thursday: 4 out of the 7-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
- Wednesday: 7 out of the 12-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
- Tuesday: 1 out of the 3-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
- Monday: 10 out of the 20-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
1 flat – Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT)
Thursday closed positive with 7 decliners, 27 advancer and 1 flat
Wednesday closed positive with 12 decliners, 21 advancer and 2 flats
Tuesday closed positive with 3 decliners, 32 advancer and 0 flat
Monday closed negative with 20 decliners, 15 advancer and 0 flat
Friday closed negative with 23 decliners, 11 advancer and 1 flat
Thursday closed positive with 5 decliners, 30 advancer and 0 flat
Wednesday closed negative with 25 decliners, 10 advancer and 0 flat
Tuesday closed positive with 9 decliners, 26 advancer and 0 flat
Monday closed negative with 34 decliners, 1 advancer and 0 flat
Friday closed positive with 6 decliners, 29 advancers and 0 flat
Thursday closed negative with 33 decliners, 2 advancers and 0 flat
Wednesday closed negative with 32 decliners, 2 advancers and 1 flat
Tuesday closed positive with 10 decliners, 24 advancers and 1 flat
Monday closed negative with 32 decliners, 3 advancers and 0 flats
Friday closed negative with 29 decliners, 4 advancers and 2 flats
Thursday closed negative with 24 decliners, 11 advancers and 2 flats
Wednesday closed positive with 3 decliners, 30 advancers and 2 flats
Tuesday closed negative with 26 decliners, 7 advancers and 2 flats
Monday closed positive with 11 decliners, 24 advancers and 0 flats
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.