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Dow Achieves Record, Growth Stocks Sour, & Interest Rates Rise During Monday’s Session

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.


QUOTE OF THE DAY – “Games are won by players who focus on the playing field –- not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.” ― Warren Buffett

Happy Monday!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend and that Monday’s trading session has left your accounts in relatively good shape.

In general, unless you were solely indexing the Dow 30, then your portfolio may have taken a bit of a hit today as the atmosphere seemed somewhat sour all day long, especially for growth stocks and it was difficult for many to find a bid.  In concert, the Russell 2000, which is decidedly full of smaller growth oriented companies, never really found its stride on Monday as it remained in negative territory, down nearly 2-3 points throughout the session, closing at 2,158.68 (-2.83%). The Nasdaq closed at 13,059.65 down .60% as the FAANG’s or larger growth oriented stocks generally weathered the ‘Monday growth storm’ relatively well. in fact, the FAANG’s all ended in positive territory as follows: Apple (AAPL) shares closed at $121.39, +.15%, Amazon (AMZN) closed at $3,075.73, +.78%, Alphabet (GOOG) closed at $2,055.95, +1%, Facebook (FB) closed at $290.82,+2.76%, & Netflix (NFLX) closed at $513.85/share, +1.16%. However, Elon Musk’s EV giant Tesla (TSLA) closed at $611.29,  -1.2%.

The bigger boys on the S&P 500 also fell slightly as the index closed at 3,909.52 (-.09%) after breaking records on Friday. The utilities sector up 1.1%, the communication services up 1%, and the consumer staples also 1% helped the index to stay somewhat in check. 

In general, a couple of issues weighed on investors growth oriented investments again today. The first was that longer term treasury yields continued to move higher as the 10-yr yield closed up another 6 basis points closing at 1.72% (the short term 2-yr yield stayed flat at .14%) & also the U.S. dollar ticked up again another .2% to end at 92.93. Adding to this fear, investors were trying to digest the amazing number of stories highlighting the cry from Credit Suisse & Nomura who warned of their potential losses as their mutual client, Archegos Capital Management, had defaulted on margin calls & had been required to liquidate +$20B in stock over the last week. The over reporting of this subject seemed to add pressure and worry across investors minds, both those that use margin and those that understand that others do so adding additional pressure on the markets, especially on risk oriented growth assets. Lastly, the unknown nature of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure spending plan that is to be revealed this Wednesday loomed along with new news that he would be seeking yet another stimulus bill and with this the expected rise in fear that our taxes are going rise significantly higher in order to pay for it all. Hopefully, some of this worry and the fact that the Russell 2000 took a nice hit today, possibly a double bottom, will allow for a nice market bounce tomorrow or sometime this week. Regardless, hopefully all of you have had some cash and are finding some interesting spots to deploy along the way. 

In contrast, the Dow 30 closed in positive territory and at a new record high at 33,171.37 (+.30%) after starting the day in negative territory. Dow component Boeing (BA) closed $250.52, +2.3% after it was announced that Southwest Air (LUV($60.96, -.5%) had agreed purchase 100 737 MAX 7’s.

The macroeconomic schedule did not deliver anything today, but tomorrow will bring the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index report for March, the FHA Housing Price Index report for January, & the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index report for January.

The massive ship that was suspiciously blocking the Suez Canal has now been freed and all can rest assured tonight that the shipping traffic jam is being relieved and oil and natural gas is on its way again. However, oil prices today rose .9% to close at $61.55/bbl.

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed at 147.25, -1.27, while the NYSE ARCA Biotech Index (^BTK) closed at 5,409.87, -1.12%. All small biotechs seemed to get hit again today. 

The iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) closed at $22.91, -1.38% & the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) closed at $16160.31, -1.19%. Silver prices closed at $24.7/oz, -.44. Gold prices closed at 1,713, -$21.

Gambling stocks took a knock today as reports surfaced that NY might be moving their decision to pass online sports betting to a later date i.e. Penn National Gaming (PENN) closed at $98.21, -7.85% and DraftKings (DKNG) closed at $58.20, -8.49% even though DKNG announced that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) had entered into an agreement making DKNG their official gaming partner.



VP WATCHLIST HIGHLIGHTS


  • Shares of next generation of gene silencing therapy firm NeuBase Therapeutics (NBSE) closed trading at $7.14, -1.52%. Recently, 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.
    • 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.


  • Natural-Killer cell (NKcell) focused biopharmaceutical firm Fate Therapeutics (FATE) closed at $72.77/share, +.85%.

    • On March 25, FATE announced that Daniel D. Shoemaker, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, has advised the Company that he is retiring as of June 30, 2021 after more than 12 years with the Company. Dr. Shoemaker has been with Fate Therapeutics since February 2009, having served as the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer since May 2015. Bob Valamehr, Ph.D., Chief Research and Development Officer of Fate Therapeutics and scientific leader of its iPSC Product Platform since January 2010, will continue to lead all research and development activities.
    • Recently, Fate Therapeutics (FATE) reported business highlights and financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020.
    • On Jan. 8, FATE 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.

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    • On Dec. 6, 2020, 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.”


  • INVO Bioscience (NASDAQ: 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. Shares INVO closed at $4.24/share.
    • INVO’s Management Issued a letter to shareholders on Jan. 7 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.
    • On March 8, INVO announced that they has agreed to an amendment of their agreement with Ferring Pharmaceuticals that provides for an increase in the number of INVO company-owned US-based clinics initially allowable under the agreement and removes certain geographical restrictions. The amendment also adjusted the remaining annual 2020 minimum contractual product purchase requirement, whereby Ferring will place a $501,000 order, which will be recognized as revenue by INVO Bioscience in the first quarter of 2021. READ STORY.
    • On March 1, INVO announced the Company has received approval by COFEPRIS to import INVOcell into Mexico. In late 2020, INVO Bioscience established a joint venture focused on establishing fertility centers dedicated to offering INVOcell, with the initial center, called Positib Fertility, to be located in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. Steve Shum, CEO of INVO Bioscience, commented, “We are extremely pleased to have received approval by COFEPRIS to begin importing INVOcell into Mexico. This was a key step in the process to open our first joint venture owned clinic in the large and growing Mexico market for infertility services. Our internal team along with our JV partners have and continue to work aggressively and with a relentless focus to bring the INVOcell treatment option to the many patients in need of care within Mexico.”
    • On Jan. 27, 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.
    • 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.


  • Shares of Chinook Therapeutics (KDNY), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for kidney diseases, closed today at $15.65.
    • On March 16, Chinook announced that the first patient with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) has been enrolled in the ALIGN Study, a pivotal phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of atrasentan, a potent and selective inhibitor of the endothelin A receptor. “The initiation of the phase 3 ALIGN Study is an important milestone for Chinook as we advance our pipeline of programs for rare, severe chronic kidney diseases,” said Alan Glicklich, M.D., chief medical officer of Chinook. “Atrasentan has been studied in over 5,300 diabetic kidney disease patients in the phase 2 RADAR and phase 3 SONAR studies, demonstrating rapid, sustained proteinuria reductions of approximately 30 to 35 percent as well as improved eGFR. Importantly, treatment with atrasentan also resulted in a reduction in clinical outcomes of development of end-stage kidney disease and doubling of serum creatinine. We look forward to exploring the proteinuria-lowering, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of atrasentan in patients with IgA nephropathy, a serious progressive disease for which there are no approved therapies.”

    • On March 1, Chinook and Evotec SE announced a strategic collaboration focused on the discovery and development of novel precision medicine therapies for patients with chronic kidney diseases. Based on Evotec’s proprietary comprehensive molecular datasets from thousands of patients across chronic kidney diseases of multiple underlying etiologies, Chinook and Evotec will jointly identify, characterize and validate novel mechanisms and discover precision medicines for PKD, lupus nephritis, IgA nephropathy and other primary glomerular diseases. The collaboration will also involve further characterization of pathways and patient stratification strategies for programs currently in Chinook’s clinical and preclinical pipeline. “We are excited to embark on this strategic collaboration with Evotec, the leading drug discovery alliance and development partner in nephrology,” said Andrew King, D.V.M., Ph.D., Head of Renal Discovery and Translational Medicine at Chinook. “Gaining access to the NURTuRE cohort study and other proprietary patient biobanks, along with Evotec’s multi-omics integration platform, will enable us to define the molecular drivers of kidney diseases, identify novel targets for drug development in selected patient sub-populations and continue to build the foundation for our precision medicine approach. With a focus on comprehensive molecular disease classification, combined with prospective clinical outcomes, Chinook has the opportunity to potentially deliver targeted therapies to the right patient populations.”
    • On Feb. 2nd, 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.
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  • 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 $2.05.
    • On Monday, March 22, Atossa  announced that it had entered into a securities purchase agreement with institutional investors to purchase $50 million of its shares of common stock and warrants in a registered direct offering priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules. Read Story.  Atossa has now raised ~$141M in gross proceeds (via registered directs and warrant exercises) since Dec. 2020 affording the company a significant development runway and many more options to be considering including acquisitions. 
    • On March 11, Atossa announced the FDA has issued a “Safe to Proceed” letter under their Expanded Access Pathway, permitting the use of Atossa’s oral Endoxifen as a treatment in an ovarian cancer patient. The patient is being treated at the University of Washington Medical Center by Dr. Barbara Goff, Surgeon-in-Chief. Under the FDA expanded access program, the use of Atossa’s proprietary oral Endoxifen is restricted solely to this patient. Approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be obtained prior to providing oral Endoxifen to this patient. READ today’s story.
    • On Feb. 25, Atossa announced final results from its Phase 1 double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study using Atossa’s proprietary drug candidate AT-301 administered by nasal spray. AT-301 was considered to be safe and well tolerated in healthy male and female participants in this study at two different dose levels over 14 days. AT-301 is being developed for at home use for patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19. There are currently no FDA-approved therapies to treat COVID-19 at home. Steven Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Atossa’s President and CEO stated, “The results from this study are very encouraging and we look forward to quickly commencing the next study of AT-301. We recently received input from the FDA on this program and based in part on that input, we are now preparing to conduct an additional pre-clinical study, which we expect to start this quarter. Following that, we expect to apply to the FDA to commence a Phase 2 study here in the United States.”
    • Early in February, 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.
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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 macroeconomic schedule did not deliver any reports of significance.

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

  1. Games are won by players who focus on the playing field –- not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.”
    ― Warren Buffett
  2. “The key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them.” – Peter Lynch
  3. “Courage taught me no matter how bad a crisis gets … any sound investment will eventually pay off.” — Carlos Slim Helu
  4. “Investing puts money to work. The only reason to save money is to invest it.” – Grant Cardone
  5. “As time goes on, I get more and more convinced that the right method of investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes.” — John Maynard Keynes
  6. “Given a 10% chance of a 100 times payoff, you should take that bet every time.” — Jeff Bezos
  7. “Money is always eager and ready to work for anyone who is ready to employ it.” ― Idowu Koyenikan
  8. The secret to investing is to figure out the value of something – and then pay a lot less.” – Joel Greenblatt
  9. “We don’t have an analytical advantage, we just look in the right place.” – Seth Klarman
  10. “Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay
  11. “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
  12. “No Price is too low for a bear or too high for a bull.” — Anonymous
  13. “Investment is an asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or appreciate in the future.” Anonymous
  14. “Behind every stock is a company. Find out what it’s doing.” — Peter Lynch
  15. “Wise spending is part of wise investing. And it’s never too late to start.” –Rhonda Katz
  16. “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
  17. “A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends.” — Barton Biggs
  18. “The investor’s chief problem — even his worst enemy — is likely to be himself.” — Benjamin Graham
  19. “No profession requires more hard work, intelligence, patience, and mental discipline than successful speculation.” – Robert Rhea
  20. “Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” – William Somerset Maugham
  21. “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” — Albert Einstein
  22. “Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results” — Warren Buffett
  23. “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” – Warren Buffett
  24. “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
  25. “Investing puts money to work. The only reason to save money is to invest it.” – Grant Cardone
  26. “You cannot save time for your future use however you can invest time for your future.” – John F. Heerdink, Jr. 
  27. “Know what you own, and know why you own it.” – Peter Lynch
  28. “Liquidity is only there when you don’t need it.” -Old Proverb
  29. “If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.” – Richard Branson
  30. “Fear incites human action far more urgently than does the impressive weight of historical evidence.” – Jeremy Siegel
  31. “In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” – Robert Arnott
  32. “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.” – Charlie Munger
  33. “The entrance strategy is actually more important than the exit strategy.” – Edward Lampert
  34. “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
  35. “It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different from the majority.” – John Templeton
  36. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin.
  37. 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
  38. “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
  39. “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
  40. “If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion. -George Bernard Shaw
  41. “There are old traders and there are bold traders, but there are very few old, bold traders.”-Ed Seykota
  42. “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.”
  43. “As long as you enjoy investing, you’ll be willing to do the homework and stay in the game.” -Jim Cramer
  44. “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
  45. 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
  46. “The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.” -Jawaharlal Nehru
  47. “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
  48. “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
  49. “The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.” -Sir John Templeton
  50. “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: