“Dovish Summer Tones” Vista Partners Daily Market Recap 6/19/19

By John Heerdink LinkedIn
This fine day of summer brought forth the end of the Fed’s two-day meeting and along with it came Fed Chair Powell’s comments and conclusions. The comments continued to be dovish in nature but officially removed the word “patient.” However, interest rates were left alone for now as the FOMC voted 9-1 not to cut interest rates for the time being and leaving them in a target range of 2.25% to 2.5%. The  St. Louis Fed President James Bullard was the lone vote for a reduction today. Currently, the Fed has predicted that there could be 1-2 interest rate cuts in 2020, but the markets currently seem to think we could see one as early as July of this year.

The markets were a little changed at the end of the day but did move higher after the Fed’s decision. The S&P 500 ended the session up .30% closing at 2926.46. The Dow gained 38.46 points closing up .15% at 26,504 edging nearer to the all-time high of 26,527.19. The Russell 2000, the small-cap stock market index of the bottom 2,000 stocks,  moved up .35% adding 5.35 points to close at 1555.58 & the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose .42% closing at 7987.32 up 108.86 points and getting nearer towards its all-time of 8176.08.

The US Dollar Index was down .4% today ending the day at 97.25.

The 2-yr treasury yield ended down at 1.75%  & the 10-year Treasury note closed down at 2.03%.

Volatility bets closed sharply lower today. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed at $14.33 & down 5.41%. It traded between $14.15 – $15.71. The 2x leverage ETF TVIX also closed lower at $18.87 down 6.31% and traded between $18.82 and $20.29 today.

Oil prices dropped .3% closing at $53.99/bbl.  Dow 30 energy participants Chevron (CVX) moved lower by .03% closing at $122.89 & Exxon (XOM) closed at $75.32 down by .55%.

Big tech stocks came in with mixed results today.  Amazon (AMZN) gained .39% closing at 1,908.79,  Alphabet (GOOG) was down 1.27% closing at 1,102.33, Apple (AAPL) was down .29% closing at $197.87, Facebook (FB) dropped .53% closing at $187.48 after yesterday’s announcement of plans to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra. Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) moved higher by .39% closing at $135.69 & Intel (INTC) gave back .63% closing at $47.07/share. The recent high-flying recent IPO Zoom Video Communications (ZM) moved higher by 2.76% closing at $102.39 &  Uber Technologies (UBER), the ride-sharing company jumped .2.28% closing at $44.86/share but still below its recent IPO price of $45.

As for a healthcare/biotech sector today, we saw the Ishares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) move up again by .57% closing at $108.17. This sector has been on a nice run over the last 30 days.

Bedford, Massachusetts-based Stoke Therapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering a new way to treat the underlying cause of severe genetic diseases by precisely upregulating protein expression. Yesterday, after the market closed, Stoke Therapeutics announced the pricing of its initial public offering (IPO) of 7,891,110 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $18.00 per share. All of the shares are being offered by Stoke. The shares are now trading on The Nasdaq Global Select Market as of June 19, 20,19 under the symbol “STOK.” Stoke’s stock has traded as high as $30 today and closed trading at $265.57/share up 42.06% which equates to approximately a $774 million market cap. See complete story. 

Pfizer (PFE) closed up 1% at $43.50 after this week’s announcement about their acquisition of Array BioPharma (ARRY) for ~$11.4 billion or $48/share in cash. The pharmaceutical giant and Dow component Merck & Co, Inc. (MRK) that recently announced the acquisition of Tilos Therapeutics for a consideration of up to $773 million closed at $85.36 up 1.03%.

Community Health Systems, Inc. (CYH) one of the largest publicly traded hospital companies in the US hit an intraday high of $2.66/share & a low of $2.51 today and closed the day at $2.61 up .77% on 2.99 million shares of trading. More insider buying occurred recently as Michael Dinkins bought shares at $3.168/share on 5/28/19 according to the latest Form 4 filed at SEC.gov. Michael Dinkins has served on our Board of Directors since December 2017. Mr. Dinkins has served as president and chief executive officer of Dinkins Financial, a consulting firm that helps small businesses gain access to capital, since October 2017. See our story more details: INSIDER BUYING ALERT: Community Health Systems, Inc. (CYH) Director Michael Dinkins.

Atossa Genetics (ATOS),  a Seattle-based biotech firm developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods to treat breast cancer and other breast conditions, closed at $2.12/share up 2.42% after presenting to a full room of investors at a Salt Lake City Tribe Public Event. The average daily trading volume is 1.28 million shares per day.  The Maxim’s Group’s biotech analyst, Jason McCarthy, Ph.D., reiterated his ATOS buy rating recently with a $9/share 12-Month Target Price. See his update report which is called “Reports the Quarter, Endoxifen Programs Progressing, Data Updates Expected Over 2019.”

San Diego-based biotech Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders,  closed at $19.99/share down 1.04% on 603,627 shares of trading after establishing a new all-time intraday high of $20.12. The 52-week range is $8.64 – $20.65. Guggenheim Securities initiated coverage on FATE last week with a “Buy Rating” and a $25/share price target. Scott Wolcho, President and CEO of Fate Therapeutics presented at the Jefferies 2019 HealthcareConferencee in New York yesterday. Roth Capital initiated coverage on FATE with a Neutral rating and a $20 price target last Friday, June 7th. Mizuho initiated coverage with a price target of $27/share this week.

Boston-based Pieris Pharmaceuticals (PIRS) closed at $4.29 down .69% on 188,999 shares of trading.

Xeris Pharmacueticals, Inc. (XERS) closed at $10.40 down 1.42%. Xeris is a specialty pharmaceutical company leveraging its novel formulation technology platforms to develop and commercialize ready-to-use injectable and infusible drug formulations.

INVO Bioscience, Inc. (IVOB) ended the day at $.37/share. IVOB is a medical device company, headquartered in Medford, Massachusetts, focused on creating simplified, lower cost treatment options for patients diagnosed with infertility. The company’s lead product, the INVOcell, is a novel medical device used in infertility treatment that is FDA cleared and that enables egg fertilization and early embryo development in the woman’s vaginal cavity. IVOB announced today that the recent appointment of Pressly Ahammed as the new Director of International Business Development and he will be responsible for the Company’s international distribution channels in Europe, Middle East, Africa & parts of Asia. Ahammed joined IVOB from Cooper Surgical where he held a similar position.

Entertainment giant Disney (DIS) closed at $139.24 up 1.21%. 

Institutional alternative asset manager Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (OZM) closed at $21.53 down .14%. The 52-wk range is $8.60 – $23. OZM sports a healthy 5.65% cash dividend.

Home Depot (HD) rose another .22% ending the day at $207.94.

Dow 30 component & the world’s leading manufacturer of construction & mining equipment Caterpillar (CAT) closed at $130.361 up .21%.

McDonald’s (MCD) closed at slightly higher at $204.55 up .02%.   Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat (BYND) closed at $169.28 slightly lower losing .36%. Their meat is made of four main ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, canola oil & refined coconut oil and is meant to taste like “meat.”

Vista Partners LLC (”Vista”) is a California Registered Investment Advisor based in San Francisco. Vista delivers timely and relevant insights via the website: www.vistapglobal.com with daily stories, weekly market updates, monthly macroeconomic newsletters, podcasts, & Vista’s proprietary equity and market research to help you stay informed and stay competitive. Vista’s mission is to invest partner capital while arming investors with a comprehensive global financial perspective across all market sectors. Vista also seeks to provide select issuers with actionable advice regarding fundamental development, corporate governance, and capital market directives.

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