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Dow 30 Achieves New Record High As Apple’s Socket Mobile (SCKT) & Blockchain Stocks (SOS, MARA, RIOT) ‘Go Bananas’

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

The markets provided an overall positive welcome back from the long holiday weekend in this shortened trading week. In fact, Tuesday’s trading session saw all indices hit intraday record highs, however the Dow 30 was the only major index that managed to close in at a record close of 31,522.75 (+.2%) and end safely in the green.  To round out the indices’ results today, the S&P 500 closed at 3,932.59(-.06%), the Nasdaq closed at 14,047.50(-.34%) & the Russell 2000 closed at 2,272.89 (-.72%). The energy sector led all sectors with a 2.3% jump as oil prices closed moved up 1% to a close at $60.09/bbl but OPEC+ is now making another move to possibly ease their supply after the April time frame possibly curbing the rising pressures of the supply demand and reopening bids. On the downside of the coin, the utilities sector fell 1.1%, the real estate sector fell 1.1%, & the health care sector lost 1%.

MACRO & MONEY 

The macroeconomic schedule delivered one report of significance today as the Empire State Manufacturing Survey report confirmed a rise to 12.1 in February (January was 3.5). Tomorrow’s busy schedule will produce the Retail Sales report for January, the Producer Price Index report for January, the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization report for January, the FOMC Minutes, the NAHB Housing Index report for February, the Business Inventories report for December, & the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index report.

The financials sector rose 1.8% as the yield curve rose in the face of reopening confidence as the distribution the COVID-19 vaccination is reportedly gaining traction and confidence is swelling. The 2-yr treasury yield rose 2 basis points to close at .12%, while the 10-yr treasury yield moved up 10 basis points to close at 1.30%. The U.S. Dollar ticked higher to end at 90.54.

Further US economic stimulus still lingering about, but is still in the tight & self promoting grips of politicians. 

FAANG’s, TSLA, & Apple’s Socket Mobile Skyrockets

The FAANG’s ended mixed today as follows: Apple (AAPL) shares closed at $133.19, -1.61%, Amazon (AMZN) ($3,268.95, -.27%), & Alphabet (GOOG) closed at $2,121.9,+.85%, Facebook (FB) closed at $273.97, +1.28%, & Netflix (NFLX) closed at $557.28/share, +.14%. 

Shares of Newark, CA-based Socket Mobile Inc. (SCKT), a leading provider of data capture and delivery solutions designed to enhance workplace productivity, jumped from a day low of $9.17 to a intraday high of $35 prior to closing at $20.68, +538.27%. 223 million shares traded for this ‘low float’ stock. Socket’s move came as it announced the arrival of the DuraSled™, the first enterprise-grade barcode scanner for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini. They stated that with the sleek, high-performance DuraSled, users of all Apple iPhone 12 series devices can access professional-grade scanning solutions.

Shares of the leading EV maker Tesla (TSLA) closed at $796.22, -2.44%. Chinese EV producer NIO Limited (NIO) closed at $59.23/share, -1.04% and will report its Q4 and full year 2020 results on Monday, March 1, 2021. 

Shares of the leading provider of hydrogen engines and fueling solutions enabling e-mobility Plug Power (PLUG) ($59, -6.63%).  Today Madrid, Spain’s ACCIONA S.A. (BME: ANA), a global leading supplier of sustainable infrastructure solutions, and Plug Power announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch a 50-50 joint-venture (JV) headquartered in Madrid. This JV will be a leading green hydrogen platform serving clients in Spain and Portugal, providing cost-efficient and competitive green hydrogen to multiple end markets.

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) achieved a new all-time high of $614.90 prior to closing at $613.21, +2.47% amid the “global chip shortage” as their chips power the future of self-driving cars and cloud gaming. The FTC is investigating $40 billion acquisition of Arm Ltd. Arm’s tech reportedly is going into chips of billions of devices shipping this year including smartphones, video cameras, hard drives, washing machines, etc.

CRYPTO & BLOCKCHAIN STOCKS STAY WHITE HOT

Everything crypto/blockchain related seemed to be moving upward again today as Bitcoin eye’d a $50,000 price tag.

Shares of Qingdao, China-based SOS Limited (NYSE: SOS) fly to new all-time high of $13.69 prior to closing at $11.84 up a more than health +59.14% today after trading 172.19 milling shares. SOA is an emerging blockchain-based and big data-driven marketing and solution provider, with a nationwide membership base of approximately 20 million in China. Recently, SOS has outlined its strategy in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which include a series of initiatives to expand its business into cryptocurrency mining as well as cryptocurrency security and insurance. On Feb. 9, it was reported that it has received 5000 PCS of mining rigs ahead of schedule on Feb. 9, 2021, five days earlier than the delivery date set by the purchase agreement with the seller. The first batch of delivery is composed of a pool of 5000 PCS of mining rigs, which can generate about BTC Hash Power 175P and ETH Hash Power 350G.

Riot Blockchain (RIOT) closed at $59.50 up 20.74% today after reaching $61.27 and new all-time high. The 52-week low is $.51 share. 

Marathon Patent Group (MARA) rose to a new all-time high of $45.26 prior to closing at $43.56, +13.26%. The 52-week low is $.35.


BIOTECH & HEALTHCARE

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed at 167.01, -2.17% while the NYSE ARCA Biotech Index(^BTK) closed at 6,068.60, -2.63%. 

Today, Cytovia Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing allogeneic “off-the-shelf” gene-edited Natural Killer (NK) and Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-NK cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and Cellectis (Euronext Growth: ALCLS – Nasdaq: CLLS) ($27.33, +.59%), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immunotherapies based on gene-edited allogeneic CAR T-cells (UCART), announced that they have entered into a strategic research and development collaboration to develop TALEN® gene-edited iPSC NK and CAR-NK cells. The financial terms of the partnership include up to $760 million of development, regulatory, and sales milestones from Cytovia to Cellectis for the first 5 TALEN® gene-edited iPSC-derived NK products (“partnership products”). Cellectis will also receive single-digit royalty payments on the net sales of all partnered products commercialized by Cytovia. Cellectis will receive an equity stake of $15 million in Cytovia stock or an upfront cash payment of $15 million if certain conditions are not met by December 31, 2021, as well as an option to invest in future financing rounds. Cellectis will develop custom TALEN®, which Cytovia will use to edit iPSCs. Cytovia will be responsible for the differentiation and expansion of the gene-edited iPSC master cell bank into NK cells and will conduct the pre-clinical evaluation, clinical development, and commercialization of the mutually-agreed-upon selected therapeutic candidates. Cellectis is granting Cytovia a worldwide license to its TALEN® gene-editing technology, enabling Cytovia to modify NK cells addressing multiple gene targets for therapeutic use in several cancer indications. Cytovia is seeking to go public in the early summer time frame. We invested in Cytovia in December, 2020. 

GOLD, SILVER, HL

The iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) closed at $25.26, -.2%. Silver prices closed at $27.24/oz, -$48. Gold prices closed at 1,792, -$29.

North American Silver and gold producer Hecla Mining Company (HL) closed at $6.13/share, -.65 on the day after recently establishing a new 52-week high of $8.45 this week. HL’s 52-week range is $1.4 – $8.45.  I recently hosted a Tribe Public Webinar Presentation and Q&A Event last week with Phillips S. Baker, Jr., President, and CEO of Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) where we discussed The Silver Squeeze” while addressing questions from the Tribe and offering valuable insights on silver prices throughout history and the recent volatility that helped move silver related stocks and the ETF SLV. Please view it by clicking here.  Hecla will issue a news release reporting its fourth quarter and year-end 2020 financial results before market open on Thursday, February 18, 2021, and announces future management changes. A conference call and webcast will be held Thursday, February 18, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss fourth quarter and year-end 2020 financial results. You may join the conference call by dialing toll-free 1-833-350-1380 or for international by dialing 1-647-689-6934. The Conference ID is 7412488



VP WATCHLIST HIGHLIGHTS


  • Shares of next generation of gene silencing therapy firm NeuBase Therapeutics (NBSE) closed trading at $12.04, +2.99% after recently reaching a new all-time high of $12.89. Last week, Neubase reported its financial results for the three-month period ended December 31, 2020. Review the story here.
    • Oppenheimer’s analyst Hartaj Singh recently reiterated his OUTPERFORM Rating and his Price Target of $17. 
    • Recently, NeuBase announced the execution of a binding agreement to acquire infrastructure, programs and intellectual property for several peptide-nucleic acid (PNA) scaffolds from Vera Therapeutics, formerly known as TruCode Gene Repair, Inc. The technology has demonstrated the ability to resolve disease in genetic models of several human indications. The acquisition was reported to bolster NeuBase’s capabilities and reinforces the Company’s position as a leader in the field of genetic medicine. Read the complete story. 
    • NeuBase is developing the next generation of gene silencing therapies with its flexible, highly specific synthetic antisense oligonucleotides. The proprietary NeuBase peptide-nucleic acid (PNA) antisense oligonucleotide (PATrOL™) platform allows for the rapid development of targeted drugs, increasing the treatment opportunities for the hundreds of millions of people affected by rare genetic diseases, including those that can only be treated through accessing of secondary RNA structures. Using PATrOL technology, NeuBase aims to first tackle rare, genetic neurological disorders.
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    • We expect to see the company to announce an update on its work in Huntington’s Disease and also sign a corporate deal of some kind prior to the end of April 2021 based on recent conversations & expectations of management.
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  • Natural-Killer cell (NKcell) focused biopharmaceutical firm Fate Therapeutics (FATE) closed at $101.44/share, -99% after recently establishing a new all-time high of $121.16. FATE also recently announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of ~$432 million at $85.50/share. Jefferies, BofA Securities, SVB Leerink and Barclays acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.

    • We started with Fate over 3 years ago when it was in the $3 range. Fate’s 52-wk range is $16.75- $103.86. 

    • Recently, Fate presented a patient case study from the Company’s Phase 1 clinical trial of FT596, its universal, off-the-shelf, CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) natural killer (NK) cell product candidate, at the 62nd Annual Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition and the street loved it. NK cells are the body’s first line of defense against viral infections and cancerous cells with an innate ability to rapidly seek and destroy transformed cells. NK cell therapy has the potential to 1) target multiple pathogenic antigens with measurably more efficient cytotoxicity, 2) be better controlled to reduce risk of cytokine storms and 3) be produced from a variety of sources without relying on patient-specific immune cells. Dr. Wayne Chu, Senior Vice President, Clinical Development of Fate Therapeutics stated, “The safety, pharmacokinetics and clinical activity observed following both the first and second single-dose treatment cycles of FT596 are compelling, especially when considering that the administered cell dose was significantly lower than the recommended cell dose of FDA-approved autologous CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapies and that the heavily pre-treated patient was refractory to last prior therapy. We are excited the CAR component of FT596 has shown clinical activity at this low dose level, and we continue to enroll patients in dose escalation with FT596 as a monotherapy and in combination with rituximab.”

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  • Shares of INVO Bioscience (NASDAQ: INVO) closed at $3.93/share, +.77% for this ‘low float stock’. INVO has now closed soundly above its 50-day moving average of $3.10 once again & there appears to be a significant gap up to its $5.08 or 200-day moving average. Recently, INVO announced that it has advanced its commercialization efforts into the European fertility market by securing initial orders of INVOcell in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. INVOcell will initially be available at three separate existing fertility clinics which have placed orders and commenced training. Please read the story here.
    • INVO is a medical device company focused on creating alternative treatments for patients diagnosed with infertility and developers of INVOcell®, the world’s only in vivo Intravaginal Culture System. Industry forecasts suggest that only 1% to 2% of the estimated 150 million infertile couples worldwide are currently being treated. INVO’s mission is to increase access to care and expand infertility treatment across the globe with a goal of improving patient affordability and industry capacity. Since January 2019, INVO Bioscience has signed commercialization agreements in the United States, India, as well as parts of Africa and Eurasia and Mexico for the INVOcell device.
    • INVO’s Management Issued a letter to shareholders recently that spoke to their key developments and future initiatives that have positioned their product INVOcell® within the severely underserved fertility market. PLEASE read the story here.
    • INVO received BUY Ratings from both Roth Capital ($5 PT) & Collier International Securities ( $5.75 PT) in December, 2020.  ]
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  • Shares of Chinook Therapeutics (KDNY), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for kidney diseases, closed today at $15.36, +3.5%. Recently, Chinook announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted rare pediatric disease designation for CHK-336, an investigational oral small molecule inhibitor of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) for primary hyperoxaluria (PH). PH is a group (PH1, PH2 and PH3) of ultra-rare genetic diseases caused by enzyme mutations that result in excess oxalate production in the liver, and in its most severe forms, can lead to end-stage kidney disease at a young age. Inhibition of LDHA with CHK-336 allows for the potential to treat all forms of PH and other disorders arising from excess oxalate, while its liver-targeted tissue distribution profile enables maximal inhibition of liver oxalate production with minimal systemic exposure. Please read the story here.
    • I recently hosted Chinook’s President & CEO Eric Dobmeier at our sister organization Tribe Public’s Presentation and Q&A event, Tuesday, Jan. 26th which you can watch now at Tribe Public YouTube Channel
    • Chinook has well-funded development programs with participation in a $115 million private placement financing concurrent with the close of a merger with Aduro Biotech in Q4 2020 from top-tier healthcare investors including, EcoR1 Capital, OrbiMed Advisors, funds managed by Rock Springs Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC, Avidity Partners, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Ally Bridge Group, Monashee Investment Management LLC, Northleaf Capital Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, Sphera Biotech and others.


  • Shares of Seattle-based Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATOS), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company seeking to discover and develop innovative medicines in areas of significant unmet medical need with a current focus on breast cancer and COVID-19, closed at $3.48/share, -4.4%.
    • Recently, Atossa’s President and CEO Dr. Steven C. Quay issued his annual Letter to Stockholders highlighting key accomplishments and strategy for 2021. Please view it here.
    • Recently, Atossa announced updated findings following 26 months of Expanded Access (or “compassionate use”) single-patient studies of Atossa’s Endoxifen. “To date, the patient has not had a recurrence of breast cancer, as assessed by clinical breast examination and mammography; has not had treatment-related changes in periodic laboratory blood tests and general clinical examinations; and, the treatment has been well tolerated, including an absence of typical vasomotor symptoms commonly associated with tamoxifen (for example, night sweats and hot flashes), an FDA-approved drug frequently prescribed for breast cancer treatment,” commented Sidney Goldblatt, M.D., Principal Investigator. “This patient, like many breast cancer patients, was reluctant to take tamoxifen because of the well-documented side effects associated with that drug and because she lacked the proper liver enzymes to properly metabolize tamoxifen. We are very encouraged by this patient’s experience with our Endoxifen over the past two years. Her experience serves as a model for ongoing development efforts,” commented Steve Quay, Ph.D., M.D., Atossa’s President and CEO.  Yesterday, I hosted  Tribe Public’s Webinar Presentation and Q&A Event with Steven Quay, MD, PhD, CEO & Founder & Kyle Guse CFO of Atossa Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ATOS) who delivered a presentation titled “The Important Role of COVID-19 Therapeutics In A Post-Vaccine World.” They also addressed Q&A session at the end of the presentation. Please view it here.
    • Recently, Atossa announced that based on substantially positive results achieved with the patients enrolled to date in its Australian open-label Phase 2 clinical study of oral Endoxifen administered in the “window of opportunity” between diagnosis of breast cancer and surgery, Atossa has halted the study and is accelerating its Endoxifen program in the United States. “It is a welcome event to halt an ongoing clinical trial because the results are so overwhelmingly positive,” commented Steven Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Atossa’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Data from the first six patients in our Australian Phase 2 window of opportunity study shows a 74% average reduction in Ki-67, which is a common measure of tumor cell activity, and that at the time of surgery all patients had Ki-67 levels lower than 25%, which is an important threshold to improve long-term survival as identified in studies by others. We believe that additional enrollment will not alter these positive results so we are terminating the study early. This saves at least a year on the development time line allowing us to accelerate clinical development in the Unites States. We look forward to reporting final data from all patients in the study and sharing our continued progress in the development of oral Endoxifen.”
    •  Atossa recently raised ~$81M in gross proceeds affording the company a significant development runway and many more options to be considering. 
    • Atossa is seeking in the near term to get an FDA nod to move into a Phase 2 trial with its nasal spray COVID-19 therapy.
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Please review our complete VP Watchlist that includes nine highlighted companies. The pages will allow you to learn more and keep up with these companies daily. 

Also, please make sure that you check out the interesting quotes and selected videos that we have highlighted below. 


Markets

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Big Movers

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Bond Markets & US Dollar

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Economic Reports

  • On Monday, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey report confirmed a rise to 12.1 in February (January was 3.5).

Agriculture & Energy

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Biotech & Healthcare

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Consumer Goods & Trends

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Financials & Fintech

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Materials & Natural Resources

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Technology & Beyond

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Investing & Inspiration

“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” – George Soros

“No Price is too low for a bear or too high for a bull.” — Anonymous

“Investment is an asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or appreciate in the future.” Anonymous

“Behind every stock is a company. Find out what it’s doing.” — Peter Lynch

“Wise spending is part of wise investing. And it’s never too late to start.” –Rhonda Katz

“It amazes me how people are often more willing to act based on little or no data than to use data that is a challenge to assemble.” ― Robert Shiller

“A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends.” — Barton Biggs

“The investor’s chief problem — even his worst enemy — is likely to be himself.” — Benjamin Graham

“No profession requires more hard work, intelligence, patience, and mental discipline than successful speculation.” – Robert Rhea

“Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” – William Somerset Maugham

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” — Albert Einstein

“Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results” — Warren Buffett

“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” – Warren Buffett

“Thousands of experts study overbought indicators, head-and-shoulder patterns, put-call ratios, the Fed’s policy on money supply…and they can’t predict markets with any useful consistency, any more than the gizzard squeezers could tell the Roman emperors when the Huns would attack.” – Peter Lynch

“Investing puts money to work. The only reason to save money is to invest it.” – Grant Cardone

“You cannot save time for your future use however you can invest time for your future.” – John F. Heerdink, Jr. 

“Know what you own, and know why you own it.” – Peter Lynch

“Liquidity is only there when you don’t need it.” -Old Proverb

“If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.” – Richard Branson

“Fear incites human action far more urgently than does the impressive weight of historical evidence.” – Jeremy Siegel

“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” – Robert Arnott

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.” – Charlie Munger

“The entrance strategy is actually more important than the exit strategy.” – Edward Lampert

“The rivers don’t drink their own water; Trees don’t eat their own fruits. The sun does not shine for itself, And flowers do not spread their fragrance For themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature” – Pope Francis

“It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different from the majority.” – John Templeton

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin.

I believe the returns on investment in the poor are just as exciting as successes achieved in the business arena, and they are even more meaningful!” -Bill Gates

“Every portfolio benefits from bonds; they provide a cushion when the stock market hits a rough patch. But avoiding stocks completely could mean your investment won’t grow any faster than the rate of inflation.” – Suze Orman

“The tax on capital gains directly affects investment decisions, the mobility, and flow of risk capital… the ease or difficulty experienced by new ventures in obtaining capital, and thereby the strength and potential for growth in the economy.” – John F. Kennedy

“If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion. -George Bernard Shaw

“There are old traders and there are bold traders, but there are very few old, bold traders.”-Ed Seykota

“Let this scenario play out on its own, in its own fashion. As you watch it unfold, you will soon be grateful that you choose the peaceful path. Remember — those who live by the sword, die by the sword.”

“As long as you enjoy investing, you’ll be willing to do the homework and stay in the game.” -Jim Cramer

“I rarely think the market is right. I believe non-dividend stocks aren’t much more than baseball cards. They are worth what you can convince someone to pay for it.” -Mark Cuban

Michael Marcus taught me one other thing that is absolutely critical: You have to be willing to make mistakes regularly; there is nothing wrong with it. Michael taught me about making your best judgment, being wrong, making your next best judgment, being wrong, making your third best judgment, and then doubling your money.” -Bruce Kovner

“The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.” -Jawaharlal Nehru

“The only true test of whether a stock is “cheap” or “high” is not its current price in relation to some former price, no matter how accustomed we may have become to that former price, but whether the company’s fundamentals are significantly more or less favorable than the current financial-community appraisal of that stock.” -Philip Fisher

“I learned to avoid trying to catch up or double up to recoup losses. I also learned that a certain amount of loss will affect your judgment, so you have to put some time between that loss and the next trade.” -Richard Dennis

“The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.” -Sir John Templeton

“Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Videos

Please consider viewing these interesting videos: