September 18, 2020 8:08am

A quadruple witching Friday which may also account for some higher than normal volumes in share trading and option alignments

Pre-open indications: 1 SELL <Biostage (BSTG)>

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Dow futures are DOWN -0.17% (-48 points), S&P futures are UP +0.07% (+2 points) and NASDAQ futures are UP +0.48% (+54 points)


Futures are mixed in Friday’s pre-open after another sell-off as the RegMed, cell and gene therapy sector experienced losses after attaining some new heights of share pricing;

European stocks were mixed as countries experienced a rise in coronavirus cases across the continent and questioned how the EU “deals” with Brexit as the pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around below the flatline;

Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly higher with the Chinese yuan holding on to recent gains against the dollar; Australia edged down with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gaining +0.45%.


Data Docket: British retail sales rose by 0.8% in August, continuing a steady incline and slightly outpacing average economist expectations



A low crawl day?

From the title, “Quadruple witching, occurs on the third Friday of the month of every quarter, in March, June, September, and December, and refers to the simultaneous expiration of single-stock options, single-stock futures, and stock-index options and stock-index futures.”

During Thursday’s regular trading session, the S&P 500 declined 0.8% for its biggest drop in a week. The Dow dipped 130 points, snapping a four-day winning streak. The Nasdaq fell 1.3% and briefly dipped back into correction territory, down 10% from its record high.

Thursday night’s post: RegMed Investors’ (RMi) closing bell: the sector got thinned with the prevailing downside trade winds ...

  • The Nasdaq closed DOWN -140.19 points (-1.27%);
  • The IBB closed down -0.39% and XBI closed down -0.16%;
  • Sector volume was LOW with 2 of the 13-upside having higher than the 3-month average volume and the 2 of 20-downside having higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VVIX: INDEX) was up +0.42 points or +1.61% at 26.46;
  • Thursday’s percentage (%) of the 13-upside were +0.02% (RARE) to +6.38% (BSTG) while the 20-downside ranges from -0.04% (FATE) to -5.60% (PGEN); 

Q3 so far:

  • September, 4 positive closes, 8 negative closes and 1 holiday
  • August, 10 positive closes and 11 negative closes
  • July - 11 positive and 11 negative closes with 1 holiday


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

Maintaining Sell:

Biostage (BSTG) closed up +$0.09 after Wednesday’s -$0.14 to $1.41, Tuesday’s +$0.14 to $1.55 and Monday’s +$0.04 to $1.41.

  • Question#1: Consider the attrition rate of the past five (5) years: two (2) CEOs, one (1) CMO who became president, one (1) CFO, one (1) interim CFO who walked-out over irregularities in an audit review, three (3) controllers, a VP of Finance who left without notice and reappeared as a consultant, five (5) members of the board of directors of which four (4) were on the audit committee, three (3) other operating VPs and twenty (20) scientific employees.
  • Question#2: Is there a pattern here … and WHO is left with biotech experience to focus the clinical trials that have YET to be initiated after an IND approval?
  • Question#3: Does BSTG have on-going CONFLICTS OF INTEREST as pre-clinical research is being conducted at Connecticut Children’s hospital, the CEO owns shares, the hospital owns shares and the principal investigator own shares?
  • Question#4: Are these issues transparent … also do these events constitute a need of oversight by regulatory bodies. Mrs. bin Zhao of Weston, Mass. as the major stocker holder and head of DST Capital, BSTG’s funder: WHY are you not overseeing the disorder wreaked by the current management team of three (3), who are also the only remaining employees?
  • Question#5: How is BSTG’s president going to communicate with his BOARD and private placement (PP) investors? The commerce department announced that it would ban U.S. business transactions with China-owned social apps WeChat on Sunday.
  • Question#6: Don’t U.S. public shareholders deserve accountability!


The BOTTOM LINE: Investors also remained on edge about the outlook on further coronavirus stimulus as well as the timing of a viable vaccine.

Where are the canaries in the sector coal mine, am I the only one? 

Shareholders need to step-up … Qui tacet consentire videtur … “he who is silent is taken to agree".


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.