Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease currently spreading across the globe. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover. Others (particularly elderly people and those with underlying medical problems) are more likely to develop serious illness and potential die from it. There are certain things you can do to stop COVID19 transmission. The best way to keep yourself and others safe is to stay at home where possible, keep a 2m distance from others, wash your hands or use an alcohol-based rub frequently, and not touching your face.
April 23 1p EDT.. Uncertainty in Gilead Sciences (GILD) clinical studies results for China study questioned curbing gains for markets but official results not in. Stock was halted now open down 6% at $76.28, taking market down as well but still green. WHO premature or accidental release of data?
Major study results from Univ. Chicago others not in yet. But need for COVID-19 therapies and /or vaccine clinical results shows major impact on markets.
- Mid -day movers: CODX, GNMK REGN TDOC; MRNA off 4.46% to $48.93.
- XBI holding $95 handle .
April 21 at close… Profit Taking on a Bear Market Rally-But Traders Reaped Profits
NASDAQ was down 3.8% to 8,263.
Biotech stocks sold off broadly today with all sub-sectors taking a hit. As you can see from the XBI chart below a five day surge failed in an attempt to break the $97 level then fell back 3% today to $92. The IBB had a great run from $98 four weeks ago to the $128 level before falling to $122.32 today. We still recommend overweight in biopharma and diagnostics stocks but the run could be choppy without help from the NASDAQ.
- Our top picks over 2019-20 have done well: Genmark Dx (GNMK), Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Teledoc (TDOC).
- We missed Regeneron (REGN) and Moderna (MRNA).
- Chembio (CEMI) is the new micro-cap high- flier.
Chart is Updated 4/21/2020
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*Disclosure: Long GILD GNMK IBB and TDOC as well as major large caps: ABT AMGN GSK JNJ PFE RHHBY.
April 21 Morning Update-a little too frothy?
- The strong momentum stocks are weak today-Hold off new buys in biotech-see XBI
- QQQ off 3.7%!
- XLK off 3.94%
- Coronavirus stocks selling off except GNMK INO; CEMI at new highs $14.50.on first shipments of their antibody test.
April 20 Morning Update: Nice rally for biotech today
- XBI soaring 4.74 % to $95.81, IBB up over 2%
- Coronavirus movers : GNMK INON MRNA TDOC VIR
- Green screen day all sectors
April 16,,,10:40 PDT- Big Rally Expected Tomorrow; Futures up over 3%!
- Big rally in biotech today across the screen, will continue tomorrow.
- Look for news on Gilead Sciences (GILD) Friday as drug offers much hope!
Coronavirus Update: We need more diagnostic testing!
Update 4/15 Momentum Begets Momentum as Teledoc, Moderna and Genmark approach 52 week highs.GILD weak on dropped China trial. IBB and XBI pull back 2.5% after good gains.focus is still coronavirus diagnostics both molecular PCR for the virus and a new Ab test, but only Abbott (ABT) has the lead. Genmark (GNMK) looks good with many other players expecting to have product: CEMI DHR HOLX QDEL QGEN RHHBY.
Update 4/14 Big rally in Biotech –GREEN SCREEN DAY-including our focus stocks: GNMK MRNA GILD TDOC.
Our trading and investment strategy is paying off. We recommended overweighting biotech with specific picks in large caps.and potential coronavirus solutions like GILD and TDOC. However the moves have been so strong on the upside off the bottom we would add new positions cautiously, use the QQQ as your guide as it tracks the XBI.
- REGN TDOC and MRNA near 52 week highs; GILD and GNMK gaining momentum.
- INO and VIR are laggards.
- IBB up 3.63% to $118.65 approaching 52 week high of $123.92.
- XBI up 4% to $86.63 short of 52 week high of $98.79.
- All major biopharma sectors rallying: Mid Cap, Gene Therapy, etc.
- Large cap leaders: VRTX AMGN ABBV RHHBY BIIB.
Update 4/13 Movers from chart below: CODX up 12.84%, TDOC up 5.09%, MRNA up 3.26%, GILD up 2.415.
Micro-Cap Diagnostic companies rallied today as scientists and public health administrators realize that reliable and accurate testing is the key to the pandemic.
- NADAQ rallies up 0.48% to 8192; IBB up 0.46%.
- smaller cap companies rally on news CEMI, NVAX.
Update 4/11 See updated performance chart below
- 4 week leaders: MRNA GNMK REGN TDOC
- Larger cap diagnostics not included: ABT HOLX RHHBY TMO etc.
- XBI in ascending channel at $83.43
Update 4/9.. Let’s just say it was a highly unusual day in the market with the $2.3T backstop from the FED and leave it at that. Many economists and pundits have a lot to chew on with these emergency measures for fighting the virus but the long term economic impact of all this money remains uncertain. Some experts still think that the potential biotechnological solutions to the pandemic are a long way off. Nonetheless we will continue cover only what happens with a major group of stocks that have potential to fight the pandemic,
Again this is not a buy list and we may have missed a few small caps and even large caps with formidable R&D capabilities. Here is a wrap-up with some new names I did not know . And a more complete list of large biopharma companies to watch are listed at bottom of chart. Several big biopharma deals have already been announced this week like GSK JNJ and now PFE. So in the past it has been said that large drug companies are not interested in vaccines but the economic impact of the pandemic is so big that now a large healthcare Company with the right capabilities has to allocate R&D resources.
We will update the chart over the weekend,
- Performance of the stocks below varied but leaders today were TDOC GNMK and VIR.
- The XBI was up 1.88% to $83.43; the IBB was up 0.91% to $113.97. The XBI looks solid since its bottom of March 18 at $63.83.
- Pfizer (PFE) was up 2.28% to $35.39 on news about a potential COVID-19 vaccine in a collaboration with BioNTech (BNTX) who all produce multiple mRNA vaccine candidates.Human trails ae expected to commence this month. Pfizer has extensive capabilities in vaccine development and production and will provide financing.Here is a financial and product update from BioNTech SE, a well financed Company based in Mainz Germany. Market cap is $10.3B.
Update 4/7…Genmark Dx (GNMK) up 22% after hours on revised revenue guidance for 2020: Total revenues of $38.7M expected. Biotechs mainly in the red and big sell-off in plays below; other notable movers: VIR off 12.56%, CODX off 11.8%, MRNA off 7.56%.
Gilead Sciences (GILD) was off 3.94% maybe because a Baird analyst Brian Skorney came on CNBC with skepticism about the efficacy of remdesivir for coronavirus but speaking without new clinical data.
Update 4/6… On a Huge Rally Day with the NAZ up 7.33%; XBI up 7.4%
- Vir Biotechnology (VIR) shares soared 26.55% on a collaboration with GSK on technology and Ph. 2 Antibody drugs for SARS-CoV-2
Volatile Coronavirus Stock Plays As of Week Ending April 4
Here are many of the well -followed life science stocks that are in the news with diagnostics, drugs and vaccines that may have an impact on the COVD-19 pandemic. This is not a buy list and does not include major biotech and healthcare companies that have major products or R&D efforts such as ABT, GSK, JNJ, PFE and RHHBY. In previous posts we commented that investors should overweight biotech in the their stock portfolio because they can be perceived as part of the healthcare solution. The most significant metric to track is “curve flattening” or new cases of Covid-19 reported in the US. Here is a Reuters site that tracks the Novel Coronavirus in the U.S. The site is updated twice daily and currently shows over 321 thousand cases.
Here is a brief summary:
- As we have noted these stocks are volatile but the following are trading near the top of their 52 week range: MRNA, REGN, TDOC.
- Many other companies are working on treatments and vaccines.
- Some biopharma companies have “re-purposed” existing drugs in interim studies to see if they have efficacy as antivirals.
- IBB at $106.25 down 8.6% YTD, XBI at $74.86 down 16.89 %YTD.
- QQQ is up down only 12.5% YTD. at $183.37; XLV is down 13.21% YTD at $86.78.
Disclosure: Long GILD GNMK IBB and TDOC as well as major large caps: ABT AMGN GSK JNJ PFE RHHBY.
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