ASCO 2018 Rally Part 2: Traders Take Profits on Nice Gains

Biotech Indices and ETFs Show Gains YTDFBIOX up 8% YTD,  IBB up 3.13%, XBI up 9.34%

The ASCO 2018 biotech rally was almost according to the script-nice gains leading up to the meeting followed by momentum easing from profit taking and digestion of news. Overall this was a good meeting now that novel targeted, personalized cancer treatments have demonstrated efficacy and great anticipation from new platforms such as CAR-T and gene editing as they get published. New cancer drugs are still extremely expensive but with genomic profiling if we can give the right drug to the right patient and eliminate toxic chemo treatments we have made a great leap forward.

Here is a good doctor approved ASCO summary from Cancer.Net on pancreatic cancer and other cancers.

Stocks were in a broad sell-off on Thursday except for a few companies in our universe.Biotech stocks are mixed today in early trading with a bias to the upside: ACOR, ARRY, CRSP, ECYT, EDIT, FMI, ICPT, LOXO, VRTX all making >1% gains. This rally has favored small and mid caps with large caps lagging (IBB) up 6.8% over the past month.

We have covered most of the major news items in previous posts but here are some additional notables for the week:

As of early Friday trading biotech stocks are holding after a brief sell-off yesterday. But the momentum is easing and there are no technical breakouts on ETFs, so it might be better to wait before adding new positions.Most of our portfolio picks are up substantially for the year. We recommended that traders take profits on XBI at $97.



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