October 23, 2023 7:54am
With investors worried about the prospect of more interest rate hikes and the Israel-Hamas conflict spreading; I keep asking about the downside trend, “What light through yonder window breaks? Don't swear by the moon” the sector replied
Pre-Open Indications: 5 Positive and 3 Negative Indications
If the market rebounds this week, don't get excited; indexes and the cell and gene therapy sector need strong gains before signaling an end to the recent downturn and follow-through sessions
Never leave an investor uninformed!
8:00 a.m. edition
News: Agenus (AGEN closed -$0.06 with a +$0.03 pre-open indication) updated data from its ongoing botensilimab/balstilimab (BOT/BAL) clinical programs in advanced colorectal cancer (CRC), neoadjuvant CRC, pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), melanoma, and sarcoma.
Verve Therapeutics (VERV +$1.10 pre-open) announced the lifting of the clinical hold and clearance of its Investigational New Drug (IND) application by the FDA to conduct a clinical trial in the U.S. evaluating VERVE-101 for the treatment of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). VERVE-101 is an investigational, in vivo base editing medicine designed to be a single-course treatment that inactivates the PCSK9 gene in the liver to durably lower blood low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). HeFH is a prevalent and life-threatening inherited disease characterized by lifelong elevations in blood LDL-C and accelerated atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
Remember that overnight and pre-open actions in futures don't necessarily translate into actual trading in the coming day’s session. My interpretation of the morning’s numbers is written to be informative; it’s built on what could happen or materialize
The pre-open Dow futures are DOWN -0.41% or (-136 points), the S&P is DOWN -0.34% or (-14 points) as the Nasdaq is DOWN -0.36% or (-58 points)
Stock futures fell Monday as Treasury yields rose,
European markets were mixed,
Asia-Pacific markets continued their sell-off.
We need to more than consider the economic environment - rising rates and inflation to comprehend the micro re “our” universe of cell and gene therapy companies …
Indexes dropped on Friday as the Dow closed DOWN -286.89 points or -0.86%, the S&P closed DOWN -53.84 points or -1.26% while the Nasdaq closed DOWN -202.37 points or -1.53%.
Continuation from title: Agenus (AGEN)
- These new and updated data underscore BOT’s broad effectiveness across several advanced solid tumors, demonstrating its potential beyond first-generation immunotherapies and current treatments," said Dr. Steven O’Day, Chief Medical Officer. "BOT’s versatility, alone, in combination with BAL, or in combination with other standard of care therapies, in early and late-stage solid tumors, positions Agenus to transform cancer care, offering immense promise to patients."
- Members of the Agenus leadership team along with key opinion leaders will discuss these findings during a live webcast at 1:00 p.m. EDT (19:00 CEST) at a corporate event at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2023 Conference.
Friday’s (10/20) RegMed Investors’ (RMi) closing bell: “cauterizing a wound after a portfolio whack, almost. Post a painful burning of share pricing; algos and electronic trading are sealing the sector preventing further a share pricing bleed.” … https://www.regmedinvestors.com/articles/13175
RegMed Investors (RMi) Research Note: Beam Therapeutics (BEAM) reduces headcount … https://www.regmedinvestors.com/articles/13172
RegMed Investors (RMi) Research Note: Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (RARE) has priced its public offering at $30.00 per share of 8,33 M stock … https://www.regmedinvestors.com/articles/13168
RegMed Investors (RMi) Research Note: Q3/23 earnings reporting dates, net losses, cash positions and runway outcomes. LPS (loss-per-share) releases will present challenges to share pricing with outcomes included.” … https://www.regmedinvestors.com/articles/13166
Ebb and flow:
Q4: October – 6 positive and 9 negative closes
· September – 1 holiday, 8 positive and 12 negative closes
· August – 9 positive and 14 negative closes
· July - 1 holiday, 12 positive and 8 negative close
Companies in my headlights – It’s your decision; I provide ideas and context: looking for lost SHEAP …
I post about “indication intelligence” devoting my time to collection and analysis of information to assist investors with insight into sector vulnerabilities and strengths. A dictionary definition of “indicate” refers to something less than a certainty; an indication could be a signal of being oversold or overbought, a recommendation, or grounds for inferring or a basis for believing.
Friday’s closing price, some Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, Friday, last Monday and the previous Wednesday’s closing “numbers” with aftermarket dollar ($) and cent ($0.00) value and percentage (%)
Agenus (AGEN) closed down -$0.06 with a +$0.03 or +3.89% positive pre-open indication.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) closed up +$1.29 after Thursday’s -$4.58, Wednesday’s -$0.90, Tuesday’s -$1.27 and Monday’s -$0.87 with a positive +$0.71 or +0.44% pre-open indication.
BioLife Solutions (BLFS) closed down -$0.99 due to CEO Mike Rice who is retiring after Thursday’s -$0.43, Wednesday’s -$0.77, Tuesday’s $0.00 and Monday’s +$0.34 with a positive +$0.23 or +2.25% aftermarket indication.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) closed down -$0.40 after Thursday’s +$0.58, Wednesday’s -$2.53, Tuesday’s +$0.37 and Monday’s +$0.16 with a positive +$0.12 or +0.26% pre-open indication.
Verve Therapeutics (VERV) closed down -$0.36 after Thursday’s -$1.30, Wednesday’s -$0.58, Tuesday’s -$0.05 and Monday’s -$0.13 with a positive +$0.79 or +8.51% pre-open indication.
Friday closing price, some Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, Friday, last Monday and the previous Wednesday’s closing “numbers” with aftermarket dollar ($) and cent ($0.00) value and percentage (%)
Beam Therapeutics (BEAM) closed down -$0.67 after Thursday’s -$2.44 after Wednesday’s -$1.47 with a negative -$0.09 or -0.51% pre-open indication
CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) closed down -$1.16 after Thursday’s -$0.65, Wednesday’s -$3.23, Tuesday’s -$1.15 and Monday’s +$0.50 with a negative -$0.25 or -0.65% pre-open indication.
Blueprint Medicine (BPMC) closed up +$0.16 after Thursday’s -$2.56, Wednesday’s -$2.05, Tuesday’s +$2.26 and Monday’s +$0.52 with a negative -$0.92 or -1.99% aftermarket indication
The BOTTOM LINE: The days of being long are not the strongest investing rationale as the cell and gene therapy sector runs out of buyers, it runs into trouble (just like a fire that runs out of wood).
I follow the dictum, quoting Churchill that “short words are best, and the old words when short are best of all.”
- Cell and gene therapy sector equities that got “whacked” Friday (9 decliners/25 declines/1 flat)
- after Thursday shellacking (5 decliners/26 declines/4 flats),
- Wednesday’s (5 incliners/30/0 flat),
- Tuesday’s positive close (17 incliners/16 decliners/2 flats)
- and Monday’s positive close (21 incliners/14 decliners and 0 flat)
An appropriate quote, “We're in a period of sector rotation, and people are trying to figure out in this new environment - in a full reset of rates across the curve - what are the stocks that are going to continue to do well and what are the stocks that are going to suffer." <Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey>
Another, “headwinds have been mounting for investors. Geopolitical tensions are rising in the Middle East. Fears of recession are still proliferating through corporate America. There is uncertainty around leadership in Washington and what that could mean for another government shutdown. Bond yields are at 16-year highs, and oil prices have been resilient, too.” <Yahoo! finance>
Today’s relevancy from last week’s perspective:
- The sector suffered heavy losses in the past week amid surging Treasury yields,
- “The stock market tried to hang on or move higher early in the week, but hit resistance and fell significantly over the last three sessions. Some of Friday's action in stocks and bonds likely reflected investor caution heading into another weekend of Israel-Hamas fighting.” <IBD>
- The small-cap Russell 2000 shed 2.3%, hitting a 52-week low. The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) sank 2.3%, hitting a seven-month low. The First Trust Nasdaq 100 Equal Weighted Index ETF (QQEW) retreated 3%% to a four-month low, undercutting the 200-day line.
- However, “it's hard to see the market having a sustained run as long as the 10-year Treasury yield is moving higher. Despite Friday's retreat, the 10-year bond yield hasn't given any real indication that it's ready to level off or pull back meaningfully.”
- As we head toward earnings releases, investors should go into cash, but stay engaged.
- Trade any ups, buy into some bottoms, build cash position; buying the lows so they can eventually be the overbought through unbridled speculation and then trade again.
What the sector patterns and markets are telling me:
- Investors should pay close attention to sector equities with strong relative strength. But it's not a time to be buying. Instead, it's been a week to scale out of positions.
- Market breadth has been weak
- A weak aftermarket
- A sentiment factor driven by algorithms and electronic trading,
- Remember, the closer we get to earnings releases <LPS or loss per share sweepstakes> the leaner gains or expressive losses are going to be!
- The ongoing Israel-Hamas war has raised questions of a potential oil supply crunch and a resulting rise in fuel prices if the geopolitical instability spreads to neighboring oil producers in the region.
Bad News: At least 17 Boston-area biotechs have shut down since the start of the year, about triple the number of closures in 2022.
I hate to be so negative or contrarian but, this is a NO spin zone and facts are its product; I am more frequently right than consequentially wrong but, I am mostly EARLY!
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. All investments are subject to risks. Investors should consider investment objectives.
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. Regulation Analyst Certification (Reg AC): The research analyst primarily responsible for the content of this report certifies the following under Reg AC: I hereby certify that all views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject company or companies and its or their securities. I also certify that no part of my compensation was, is or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed in this report.
Henry McCusker, the editor and publisher of RegMed Investors could hold or have positions securities referred to in this publication and he will NOTIFY investors of holdings.