December 31, 2020 8:15am

As market highs bid bye and volatility says hi, again

Pre-open indication: 1 SELL

What I provide is a trusted source of share pricing intelligence that ensures that investors are kept apprised of “our” universe, the RegMed/cell and gene therapy sector and its surrounding markets

A pre-open briefing on what you need to know in the session ahead!

Dow futures are DOWN -0.07% (-22 points), S&P futures are DOWN -0.03% (-1 points) and NASDAQ futures are barely UP +0.09% (+11 points)


U.S. stock futures were down early Thursday morning as we prepared for the final session of 2020;

European markets closed lower dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit implementation and aid measures that have tried to marginalize the financial impact of the pandemic;

Asia-Pacific markets closed mixed, as multiple country markets closed early for New Year’s Eve.

  • Markets in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong closed earlier than usual on Thursday due to New Year’s Eve. Markets in Japan and South Korea were closed on Thursday for a holiday.


Data Docket: initial jobless claims with expected reporting of 828,000 initial claims, which would be a slight increase from the previous reading and still dramatically higher than before the pandemic.



The spiral in futures comes at the end of a relatively quiet week, capping a volatile year for the stock market.

Sector equities fell sharply in February and March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread from China. Indexes rolled forward surprisingly with peaks and valleys as an economic crisis enveloped Americans and the global population.

Markets seemed to bottom-out in late March, and amid unprecedented action with the U.S. Fed propping-up credit markets as stocks then rebounded with a series of record highs before the end of year.

As politicians continually debated until even today, the families suffered catastrophic wounds which need to be salved and bandaged to stop, the bloody economic loss, sweat and tears of Americans.


Wednesday’s evening’s recap: RegMed Investors’ (RMi) closing bell: “rebound after three (3) down sessions, the sector finds some momentum from being oversold” …

  • The Nasdaq closed UP +19.78 points (+0.15%);
  • The IBB closed up +0.38% and XBI closed up +1.34%;
  • Sector volume was BALANCED with 6 of the 27-upside having higher than the 3-month average volume with the increased volume of 3 of 6-downside having higher than the 3-month average volume;
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VVIX: INDEX) was down -0.31 points or -1.34% at 22.77;
  • Wednesday’s percentage (%) of the 27-upside were +0.02% (BLUE) to +17.41% (SLDB) while the 6-downside ranges from -0.22% (BCLI) to -2.08% (RARE);

Q4’s December, so far: 1 holiday, 2 neutral, 6 negative and 13 positive closes

  • Q4’s November: 16 positive and 3 negative closes
  • Q4’s October: 1 neutral, 11 positives with 1 negative closes

Q3: July through September: 1 neutral, 28 positive and 34 negative closes with 2 holidays


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

Maintaining Sell:

Biostage (BSTG) closed down -$0.01 to $1.21 with 6,82 shares traded after Tuesday’s +$0.01 to $1.22 with 552 shares traded, Monday’s -$0.20 to $1.21 with 1,700 shares traded and last Thursday’s $1.25 with 17,600 shares traded.  Continuing the questions …

  • Question#1: WHAT’s with the $75 million raised and all but spent on getting to an IND and NO clinical trial initiation;
  • Question#2: WHAT is the future of this “shell” and HOW will RSM US, their accounting firm treat this “disaster” in their review of operations, lack of audit BOD members, a permanent CFO, not a rental for accounting and its MANY issues of transparency and communication – in English please?
  • Extra, extra: BSTG issued warrants to acquire shares of common stock with an exercise price of $3.70 per share that were exercisable until December 31, 2020. On December 30, 2020, the Company agreed to ... extend the expiration date .... to June 30, 2021 with respect to warrants exercisable for an aggregate of 122,554 shares of common stock - their only form of raising capital.


The BOTTOM LINE: It’s over, look to 2021 with initial months i.e., Q1 of renewal, rebound and many a retreat … read = volatility.


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.