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“Stimulus Rolling With COVID-19, Oil, McDonald’s, Russell 2000 Surge, Major Indices End Positively” Vista’s Daily – March 19, 2020

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

It was another “yoyo” kind of day for the major indices which ended in positive territory after experiencing a decent amount of volatility throughout. More stimulus rolled out in the form of further Fed support which established a Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) a new acronym for most of us, but hopefully, this will add ammunition for a positive outcome and stability. The ECB & Bank of Japan also announced that they were implementing an emergency bond-buying program to do the same. We also heard that the Bank of England cut interest rates and it will be increasing daily asset purchases with the goal of adding its own stability measures. The US Congress continued to mull over the $1.2T or $1.3T stimulus package as we continue to see reports that the spread of COVID-19 is continuing to grow and that might take up to 18-months to deal with. We also heard that more of the US and countries abroad are seeking to lock down their borders and citizens in a worldwide containment initiative while a number of groups work at possible vaccines, treatments, and cures. Fingers are crossed worldwide that we see some light at the end of this current dark tunnel soon.

At the close of trading the S&P 500 moved higher by +.47%, the Dow added +.95%% while McDonalds (MCD) surged +8.89% today, the Nasdaq increased by +2.3% & the Russell 2000 jumped a healthy +6.82%. The FAANG stocks gained ground today except for Apple (AAPL) which closed at $244.78/share down by -77%. Amazon (AMZN) closed at $1,830/share, up by +1.23%. Facebook (FB) closed at $153.13/share,+4.2%, Alphabet (GOOG) closed at $1,115.29/share, +1.69% & Netflix (NFLX) closed at $332/share, up by a sizable +5.25%. 

Oil was an amazingly positive story today as President Trump stepped into the mix suggesting he would get into the oil skirmish with Saudia Arabia and Russia. Oil closed at $25.28/bbl up a whopping 24%. Gold dropped down at $1476/oz & silver closed up at $12.16/oz. U.S. Treasury yields moved higher today. The 2-yr yield moved down aggressively by 14 basis points to .38% & the 10-yr yield moved lower by 12basis points to 1.12%. The U.S. Dollar Index jumped another +1.5% to 102.67. 

A couple of economic reports surfaced as the Initial claims for the week ending March 14 confirmed a move higher by 70k to 281k while continuing claims for the week ending March 7 was confirmed to have moved higher by 2k to 1.701M.
The Philadelphia Fed Index for March decreased to -12.7. The current account deficit for Q4 totaled $109.8B. 

Irvines’s Biomerica Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRA) was an amazingly bright spot again today jumping into the close up +55% at $16/sh after skyrocketing +340.17% yesterday. They announced yesterday that it had commenced shipping initial samples of its COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test (a finger prick blood test with results in 10 minutes, that can be performed by trained professionals anywhere, e.g. airports, schools, work, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices) to countries outside the US. Evaluation test kits have been requested by Ministries of Health in multiple countries through the Company’s distribution partners who are working with their government agencies to assess the tests and forecast demand. This disposable point-of-care serology test is different than the current polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests in that initial studies indicate that serology tests can identify if someone has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and can further detect if a person was recently infected with the disease even if they have never shown or are no longer showing symptoms. This can help health agencies focus on prior contacts of persons previously infected. Existing PCR tests generally only show positive if a person is currently infected and the virus is still present. Furthermore, PCR tests require patient samples to be sent to a lab, thus increasing the cost of the test and reducing the speed to obtain a result. Biomerica’s test could also be used in conjunction with the PCR test by rapidly pre-screening larger groups of individuals, who if tested positive could be further tested using a PCR test for verification. Biomerica is positioned to begin filling large international orders of these disposable one-use tests within weeks, assuming international product shipping channels remain open and active. In addition, Biomerica has begun the application process with the FDA under the COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), aimed at the possible clearance and eventual use of the test in the US. At this time, the product is not available for sale or use in the US. Biomerica is also announcing that it has filed a provisional patent application with broad claims around technology that can be used to identify several Coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, SARS, MERS and potential future mutations or strains of these viruses. Biomerica expects to sell these disposable, single-use devices for less than $10 per test.

Markets

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Big Movers

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Bond Markets & US Dollar

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Economic Reports

On Monday, the New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey was confirmed to have dropped to -21.5 in March.

On Tuesday, the total retail sales report showed a drop by -.5% month/month while retail sales, excluding autos,  moved lower by -.4% month/month. Industrial production report confirmed a move higher by +.6% month/month in February while total capacity utilization was 77%. The NAHB Housing Market Index for March dropped to 72. The January Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey confirmed that job openings rose to 6.963M while business inventories dropped -.1% in January.

On Wednesday, On Wednesday, the Housing starts report confirmed were greater than expected February as it came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.599M, however, building permits cam in lower than expected at 1.464M. The weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index Report showed a drop of -8.4%.

On Thursday, the Initial claims for the week ending March 14  confirmed a move higher by 70k to 281k while continuing claims for the week ending March 7 was confirmed to have moved higher by 2k to 1.701M.
The Philadelphia Fed Index for March decreased to -12.7. The current account deficit for Q4 totaled $109.8B. 

Agriculture & Energy

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Biotech & Healthcare

Maxim Group’s Sell-side Biotech Analyst Jason McCarthy recently issued an update report upgrading Atossa Therapeutics,  Inc. (NASDAQ: ATOS), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods to treat breast cancer and other breast conditions, to a Buy with a $4/share 12-month price target, stating that the company is “ready to advance its modified-release oral tablet of endoxifen to a P2 study for the treatment of mammographic breast density (MBD).”

Recently, Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATOS) announced that it has filed with the Swedish Medical Product Agency and the Institutional Review Board to initiate a Phase 2 study of its oral Endoxifen for the reduction of mammographic breast density (MBD). MBD is an emerging public health issue affecting more than 10 million women in the United States. Studies conducted by others have shown that MBD increases the risk of developing breast cancer, and reducing MBD can reduce the incidence of breast cancer. Atossa’s Chairman, and CEO, Steven Quay stated the following,

“This is an important milestone in the development of our oral Endoxifen product. Regulatory approval is necessary to commence the Phase 2 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study in Stockholm, which will include approximately 1,000 pre-menopausal women with MBD who will receive daily doses of Endoxifen or placebo for six months. We expect the Medical Product Authority will respond within 30 days and that the IRB approval will follow in the second quarter.”

Atossa has established both primary and secondary sources of manufacturing for the clinical supply of its oral Endoxifen capsules. With over three years of experience manufacturing and supplying the oral Endoxifen capsules for its completed clinical studies, Atossa believes adequate drug supply will be available to support this Phase 2 study. The primary objective of the study is to determine if breast density changes compared to placebo and among different doses, with secondary endpoints to assess and characterize safety and tolerability. South General Hospital in Stockholm will be conducting this study at multiple sites, after having recently completed the company’s Phase 2 study of its topical form of Endoxifen. The study is being led by principal investigator Per Hall, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet.

 

 

 

INVO Bioscience (INVO) has made a number of moves to build out its organization while focusing its efforts to increase access to its INVOcell procedure globally. INVO’s lead product, the INVOcell®, is a patented medical device used in infertility treatment and is considered an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). ART includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and embryos are handled outside of the body. In general, ART procedures involve removing mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries using a needle, combining the eggs with sperm in the laboratory, and returning the embryos to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman. The main type of ART is in vitro fertilization (IVF). INVO’s INVOcell is the first Intravaginal Culture (IVC) system in the world used for the natural in vivo incubation of eggs and sperm during fertilization and early embryo development, as an alternative to traditional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). INVO’s mission is to increase access to care and expand fertility treatment across the globe with a goal to lower the cost of care and increase the availability of care. The Company believes the worldwide fertility treatment market to be severely underserved with only 1% to 2% of the estimated 150 million infertile couples being treated. Since January 2019, INVO Bioscience has signed commercialization agreements in the United States, as well as parts of Africa, Eurasia for the INVOcell device. On January 16, 2020, INVO and Medesole, a leading supplier of healthcare products in India and the Middle East, announced the signing of a joint venture to operate dedicated INVOcell clinics in India. According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, between 10% and 14% of Indians struggle with their fertility. In 2015, 27.5 million couples in India seeking children experienced difficulty conceiving. In urban areas, one out of six couples is impacted. According to market research, the India IVF market is expected to reach $1.45 billion by 2026, a 14.7% increase from 2019. This double-digit growth of infertility in India has made it a personal, as well as public health issue. Social stigma apart, infertility leads to tremendous financial and emotional stress for couples with the cost being a limiting factor for many couples who want to opt for this procedure. 

Recently,  INVO announced that Yve Lyppens has been appointed Director of Business Development Asia Pacific. Yve Lyppens comes to INVO Bioscience with more than a decade of experience in sales and distribution management. From 2016 to the present, he served as Asia Pacific Sales Director for Biomedic Hong Kong Ltd., a medical device distributor in Mainland China. Prior to that, from 2011 to 2016, Mr. Lyppens served as a Director, Shareholder and Sales Manager at F Care Systems Hong Kong Ltd., a developer, and exporter of medical aesthetics equipment. Based in Hong Kong, Mr. Lyppens will work with the company’s COO and VP of Business Development, Michael Campbell, in developing the Company’s sales and distribution network throughout Asia. He will be responsible for developing and implementing a regional business strategy to expand the companies INVO solution through joint venture partnerships and/or distribution relationships. He will also be identifying and solving all potential issues working with cross-functional development teams. He will be attending industry symposiums, seminars and training sessions necessary to promote the technology. 

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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

 

 

 

“The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.
I get up at 4:30 in the morning, seven days a week, no matter where I am in the world.
I think it is important for people who are given leadership roles to assume that role immediately.
What I’ve really learned over time is that optimism is a very, very important part of leadership.” Bob Iger, Ceo of Disney

“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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Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s significant economic data report schedule will include the following:

  • The Existing Home Sales for February

Videos

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