May 6, 2020 5:39pm

Portfolio holdings need to be distanced from further volatility and risk infection

Pre-open indications follow-up: 7 HITs <Adverum (ADVM +$1.45), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY +$4.04), BioLife Solutions (BLFS +$0.10), Regenxbio (RGNX -$1.61), Mesoblast (MESO +$0.79), CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP +$0.33); ReNeuron(RENE.L +$0.00) > and 1 MISS < Editas Medicine (EDIT -$0.59)>

An “intelligence newspaper” for smart investing in the RegMed, gene and cell therapy sector.  Check the BOTTOM LINE <read more>

The Dow closed DOWN -218.45 points (-0.91%), the S&P closed DOWN -20.02 points (-0.70%) while the NASDAQ closed UP +45.27 points (-0.51%)



The Dow and S&P 500 fell for the first time in three sessions on Wednesday as investors weighed the prospects of reopening the economy along with a dismal report on U.S. payrolls.

The sector fluctuated on Wednesday after back-to-back gains.

  • Stocks were also kept in check as crude prices reversed course to trade more than 4% lower. West Texas Intermediate futures were coming off a five-session winning streak and are up about 28% for May.

However, recent economic data continues to show the economic damage being dealt by the virus and the shutdown of the economy.

From this a.m.’s data Docket, a report from ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed private payrolls were cut by 20.2 million last month.

  • The worst report in the data series’ history.

Volume INCREASED with 9 out of the 20-upside having higher than the 3-month average volume and 2 out of the 13-downside having higher than the 3-month average volume. The percentage (%) of the 20-upside were +0.17% (STML) to +7.66% (ADVM) while the 13-downside ranged from -0.33% (ADRO) to -7.66% ().

Hammered in today’s market:

  • Precision (PGEN), Athersys (ATHX), bluebird bio (BLUE), Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS), Regenxbio (RGNX), Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics (BCLI), Editas Medicine (EDIT) to name a few

Jumping in today’s sector:

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT), Ultragenyx (RARE), Mesoblast (MESO), CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP), Vericel (VCEL), Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM) to name a few of the 20

Q1/2020 results will be disseminated separately …


The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology (IBB) and the SPDR S&P ETF (XBI) indicators:

  • Wednesday, the IBB closed up +0.02% and XBI also closed up +0.50%
  • Tuesday, the IBB closed up +1.95% and XBI also closed up +2.14%
  • Monday, the IBB closed up +3.02% and XBI also closed up +5.06 %
  • Friday, the IBB closed down -2.50% and XBI also closed down -2.74%


The CBOE Volatility Index (VVIX: INDEX) tracked:

  • Wednesday was up +0.51 points or +1.52% at 34.12,
  • Tuesday was down -2.66 points or -7.40% at 33.36,
  • Monday was down -1.22 points or -3.28% at 35.97,
  • Friday was up +3.04 points or +8.90% at 37.19,


RegMed/Cell and gene therapy 35 covered equities’ Advance/Decline (A/D) lines: progressions and regressions …

  • Wednesday opened positive at 17/14 and 4 flats, stayed positive at the mid-day at 21/11 and 3 flats and closed positive at 20/13 and 2 flats;
  • Tuesday opened positive at 30/5, stayed positive at the mid-day at 32/2 and 1 flat and closed positive at 25/10;
  • Monday opened positive at 28/7, stayed positive at the mid-day at 24/11 and closed positive at 28/7;
  • Friday opened negative at 5/29 and 1 flat, stayed further negative at the mid-day at 2/31 and 2 flats and closed negative at 8/25 and 2 flats;


Wednesday’s (top 10) incliners:

  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY +$4.04 after Tuesday’s +$5.27 and Monday’s +$7.66);
  • Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT +$2.50 after Tuesday’s +$1.62 and Monday’s +$3.41);
  • Ultragenyx (RARE +$1.58 after Tuesday’s -$0.04 and Monday’s +$6.07);
  • Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM +$1.45 after Tuesday’s +$4.60);
  • Sage Therapeutics (SAGE +$0.88);
  • Mesoblast (MESO +$0.79);
  • Vericel (VCEL +$0.38);
  • CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP +$0.33 after Tuesday’s +$2.60);
  • Fate Therapeutics (FATE +$0.33 after Tuesday’s -$0.56 after Monday’s +$1.86);
  • Cellectis SA (CLLS +$0.25);

Wednesday’s (10 of 13) decliners:

  • Regenxbio (RGNX -$1.61 after Tuesday’s +$0.88 and Monday’s +$5.51;
  • bluebird bio (BLUE -$1.37);
  • Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS -$1.22);
  • uniQure NV (QURE -$0.62 after Tuesday’s +$1.33);
  • Editas Medicine (EDIT -$0.59 after Tuesday’s +$0.66 and Monday’s +$2.74);
  • Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics (BCLI -$0.47 after Tuesday’s +$0.64);
  • Pluristem (PSTI -$0.28);
  • Precision (PGEN -$0.15 after Tuesday’s -$0.075);
  • Voyager therapeutics (VYGR -$0.10);
  • Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO -$0.07);


Percentage (%) movement/range statistics: look closely …

  • Wednesday’s % of the 20-upside were +0.17% (STML) to +7.66% (ADVM) while the 13-downside ranged from -0.33% (ADRO) to -6.52% (BCLI); 
  • Tuesday’s % of the 25-upside were +0.14% (IONS) to +38.35% (ADVM) on acquisition news while the 10-downside ranged from -0.06% (RARE) to -3.38% (MDXG); 
  • Monday’s % of the 28-upside were +0.07% (VCEL) to +154.84% (STML) on acquisition news while the 7-downside ranged from -0.25% (AGTC) to -7.46% (BSTG); 
  • Friday’s % of the 8-upside were +0.43% (SLDB +$0.01) to +6.88% (FIXX) while the 25-downside ranged from -0.38% (IONS) to -16.36% (CLBS -$0.35);  


Sentiment and a few daily indicators:

The market is enjoying the economy opening, albeit on a phased-in schedule but that more and more states are opening …

Stocks were also under pressure as crude prices fell 2% to snap a five-session winning streak. Those losses led to a 2.6% drop in the S&P 500 energy sector.

The number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases: every day I get sadder as I post these numbers …

  • Wednesday 1.2 million
  • Tuesday 1.1 million
  • Monday’s 1.1 million,
  • Friday’s 1 million

Wednesday’s death rate escalated to a total of 71,526 after Tuesday’s 70,115, Monday’s 67,686, Friday’s 63,019 from Thursday’s 60,999 and last Wednesday’s 58,968 <John Hopkins University>


Upside volume stats: 

  • Wednesday: 9 out of the 20-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • Tuesday: 6 out of the 25-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • Monday: 9 out of the 28-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • Friday: 2 out of the 8-upside had higher than the 3-month average volume;

Downside volume stats:

  • Wednesday: 2 out of the 13-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • Tuesday: 4 out of the 10-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • Monday: 1 out of the 7-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • Friday: 8 out of the 25-downside had higher than the 3-month average volume;

Closing flat: 0



Wednesday closed positive with 13 decliners, 20 advancer and 2 flats

Tuesday closed positive with 10 decliners, 25 advancer and 0 flats

Monday (5/4) closed positive with 7 decliners, 28 advancer and 0 flats

Friday (5/1) closed negative with 25 decliners, 8 advancer and 2 flats


The BOTTOM LINE: NOTICE that advances were SLIPPING in the last hour of the session!

Reiterating “Quarterly earning’s LPS (loss-per-share) “confessions” will be a catalyst in defining share pricing and runway risks versus return over the next two (2) quarters.”

Reading the tea leaves of others writings, “Campbell Harvey, a professor of finance at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, predicted a recession for 2020 or early 2021 and considers the novel coronavirus an accelerant of underlying trends resulting in this recession, which he thinks began in the first quarter of 2020. We’re going through the worst of it right now. “Think of the second (Q2) quarter as the worst quarter of [GDP] growth that the U.S. has ever experienced, historically,” he said. “It could be 30% negative on an annualized basis. The third quarter, it's hard to imagine getting worse than where we are.”

I wouldn’t hold my breath as algorithms seek to “nip” the upside of share pricing advances and investors weigh-in on reopening businesses and loosening of restrictions.


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.