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“Flexible Minutes” Vista Partners Daily Market Recap 8/21/19

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

The markets moved up nicely today post receiving a message via the FOMC minutes that seemed to express a willingness of the Fed to be “flexible” when it comes to interest rates and dealing with the economy based on data. This also caused some selling on the shorter end of the yield curve which inverted it temporarily but it ended further flattened. The 2-yr Treasury yield finished rose to 1.57% up .06, the 10-yr yield finished higher at 1.58% up .02. The U.S. Dollar Index closed at 98.29 up .1%.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors moved higher today. The S&P 500 gained 23.92 points or .82% to end the session at 2,924.43. The Dow ended back above the 26k level closing at 26,202.73  up .93% grabbing 240.29 points.  The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose above the 8k level closing at 8,020.21 up .9% or 71.65 points. The Russell 2000, the small-cap stock market index representing the bottom 2,000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, moved higher closing at 1,509.85 gaining 11.84 points or .79%. 

Volatility bets closed lower today in light of the upward movement of the markets.   The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closed at $15.80/share down 9.71% or $1.70/share and traded between $15.51 and $17.04. The 2x leveraged ETF TVIX  closed at $16.07/share down 9.26% or $1.64/share and traded between $16.01 and $16.60 today.


Oil prices dropped today again today down .9% closing at $55.65/bb.  Dow 30 energy participants Chevron (CVX) moved higher by 1.51% closing at $117.88/share & Exxon (XOM) closed higher by 1% closing at $69.72/share.  Occidental Petroleum (OXY) closed at $45.06/share down .44% after their recent sale of $13 billion of debt to fund their Anadarko Purchase. 

Metals & Mining

Gold prices closed at $1505.35/oz. Silver closed at $17.09/oz. First Majestic Silver (AG) closed at $10.44/share down .57%. Hecla Mining Company (HL) closed at $1.62/share up 3.18%. This week, MONARCH GOLD CORPORATION (MQR.TO) (MRQRF) (MR7.F)  announced the closing of the acquisition of an aggregate 100% interest in the Fayolle property from Hecla Quebec Inc. (“Hecla”) (HL), formerly known as Aurizon Mines Ltd., and Typhoon Exploration Inc. (“Typhoon”) (TYP.V). In exchange, Monarch has issued 12 million shares to Hecla and 3.4 million shares to Typhoon. Monarch has also paid Typhoon an amount of $500,000 and will pay an additional $500,000 in five months and $150,000 in 12 months. The shares issued to Hecla and Typhoon are subject to restrictions on their transfer for periods of up to 24 months.


The S&P 500 healthcare sector closed at 1054.96 up .75%. UnitedHealth (UNH) closed down .08% closing at $240.35/share, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) closed at $50.90/share up .45% & Cigna (CI) lost 1.12% closing at $162.34/share post their recent Q2 earnings beat.

INVO Bioscience, Inc. (IVOB) ended the day at $.30/share as daily trading volume continues to rise in concert with their announcing progress after their exclusive U.S. partnership with Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a leader in the reproductive health industry was announced in Q1-2019. Ferring has committed to providing the necessary sales and marketing resources to more fully develop the market in the United States. There are countless couples not able to receive reproductive treatments today, and Ferring can be instrumental in addressing the unmet needs of this cohort. Ferring has the industry experience, relationships and the marketing capabilities to successfully embed the INVOcell in clinics throughout the country.  IVOB is a medical device company, headquartered in Sarasota, FL 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. 

Last week, INVO Bioscience (IVOB) announced that revenues for the quarter totaled $658,638 compared to $110,210 in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 498%. Revenue growth was driven primarily by increased product sales in the U.S. as shipments to Ferring were above expectations outlined in May 2019 as they began to increase their marketing activities. On January 14, 2019, the Company closed an exclusive U.S. licensing agreement with Ferring International Center S.A. the parent Company of Ferring Pharmaceuticals U.S. to commercialize the INVOcell™ system for use in the treatment of infertility. As part of the U.S. licensing agreement, the Company received a $5 million one-time milestone payment, with the ability to receive an additional $3 million upon obtaining a label enhancement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read Complete Story.


The Ishares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) moved higher up .91% closing at $106.04. The 52-wk range is $89.01 – $122.97.

Atossa Genetics (ATOS),  a Seattle-based biotech firm developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods to treat breast cancer and other breast conditions closed at $2.18/share down 3.26%. The average daily trading volume is 428,253 shares per day and reported Q2 financial results & company update today. Recently, Atossa also announced that recently the online launch of company CEO Steven Quay’s Tedx UofW Talk, “How to Be Smart When You’re Dense: Preventing Breast Cancer by 2030.” The talk has been posted online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK4PlbYE_5M&list=PLsRNoUx8w3rNCo4uCVXiNDFZLiKrIOQ1J&index=5 and can also be accessed via the company’s website at www.atossagenetics.com. In the Tedx UofW talk, Steven Quay, M.D., Ph.D., Atossa’s Chief Executive Officer outlines the journey of Atossa Genetics in identifying improved ways to identify women at high risk of breast cancer, using mammography to identify dense breast tissue. Dr. Quay also details his experience with triumph, failure, and perseverance while trying to prevent one of the world’s most common diseases: breast cancer. He emphasizes the need for unshaken efforts to solve such complex problems and ways that he and his team are doing so in breast cancer research. Also, recently Atossa is developing a new proprietary modified-release oral tablet form of its Endoxifen, which is the form of the drug that the company intends for future clinical studies and commercialization. This is the next generation of oral Endoxifen following the successful clinical studies of the capsule form of the company’s oral Endoxifen. A patent application covering the new table has also been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As part of the development of this new oral tablet, Atossa has commenced a Phase 1 study in Australia to ascertain the pharmacokinetics of the tablet. The study is randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled with both single and multiple-doses in 2 groups with a total of 24 healthy female volunteers who will be dosed for 14 days. Atossa’s oral Endoxifen capsule, which has been used in previous clinical studies, will serve as the comparator. The first group of the study has now been enrolled and dosed. Steven C. Quay, Ph.D., M.D., CEO, and president of Atossa, commented: “We are excited to take this next step in our oral Endoxifen product development. Based on the abundance of information from our previous clinical studies, we strongly believe in the potential efficacy of oral dosing and intend for this modified-release tablet to be the commercial form of our oral Endoxifen. The goal of the modified-release aspect of the drug is to create more even uptake of the drug which we believe may reduce side effects and improve efficacy. This new study builds on the success of our Phase 1 studies of the oral capsule and topical forms of our Endoxifen, our recent successful Phase 2 study of topical Endoxifen, which demonstrated significant efficacy in reducing breast density, and our single-patient compassionate use study of oral Endoxifen. Following the completion of this Phase 1 trial, we will continue to use this proprietary modified-release formulation for future clinical studies — including a Phase 2 trial that we have already indicated is in development — and ultimately regulatory approval. We look forward to completing the study in the next quarter.”

San Diego-based biotech Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), dedicated to the development of programmed cellular immunotherapies for cancer and immune disorders,  bounced back to $19.28/share up 2.44% on 299,246 shares of trading after recently establishing a new all-time intraday high of $22.82! The 52-week range is $10.78 – $22.82. Today, FATE announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent No. 10,370,452 covering compositions and uses of effector T cells expressing a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), where such T cells are derived from a pluripotent stem cell including an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). The foundational patent, which expires in 2034, is owned by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and is licensed exclusively to Fate Therapeutics for all human therapeutic uses. “The breadth of this newly-issued patent, which is not restricted by the signaling domain of the CAR construct nor by the antigen to which the CAR targets and binds, covers off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived CAR T cell therapy for the treatment of cancer, infectious disease and immune disorders,” said Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics. “This patent is a testament to the prescient work of MSK’s Dr. Michel Sadelain in combining CAR and iPSC technologies in an effort to overcome the significant challenges that limit the widespread adoption of patient- and donor-sourced engineered T-cell immunotherapy.” Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage on FATE on July 22nd with an overweight rating. Oppenheimer initiated coverage on Friday, July 12th with an Outperform Rating. Guggenheim Securities initiated coverage on FATE recently with a “Buy Rating” and a $25/share price target.  Mizuho initiated coverage with a price target of $27/share within the last 30 days.

Stoke Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: STOK), a biotechnology company that is pioneering a new way to treat the underlying cause of genetic diseases by precisely upregulating protein expression,  announced recently that the enrollment of the first patient in an observational study of children and adolescents ages 2 to 18 with Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a severe and progressive genetic epilepsy characterized by frequent, prolonged and refractory seizures, beginning within the first year of life. The effects of the disease go beyond seizures and often include cognitive regression or developmental stagnation, ataxia, speech impairment and sleep disturbances. STOK shares closed at $31.92/share down 2.18%.


Consumer Staples and Discretionary

Walmart (WMT) closed at $112.02/share down .03% after their recent earnings beat and positive guidance.

Disney (DIS) closed at $135.76 up .47% after recently revealing that it will launch its new streaming service Disney+ in Canada & Netherlands on November 12th and then in Australia and New Zealand the next day.

The Home Depot (HD) closed at $220.40/share up 1.52%.

Target (TGT) closed at $103/share  up a whopping 20.4% and Lowe’s (LOW) closed at $108/share up a more than solid 10.4% after both companies beat earnings estimates.

Consumer Staples sector gained .3% today.


Och-Ziff Capital Management (OZM), soon to be renamed Sculptor Capital Management,  closed at $22.54/share up 2.50% after their recent earnings beat and positive guidance.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) closed at $107.61 up .28%.

Goldman Sachs (GS) closed at $200.68 up .35%.


Today we received the existing home sales report which confirmed an 2.5% increase 2.5% m/m in July resulting in a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42M. Total sales came in .6% higher than a year ago. The weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index report showed a decline of .9%.

The Fed will be meeting at its annual Jackson Hole Summit later this week on Thursday and Friday.

Day or Short Term Trading Update

Last Thursday’s buy of Bloom Energy ( BE) at $5.06/share and $4.99/share paid off as it surged to $5.70 about a 14% move. We were seeking a swing back up to at least the high $5’s after its recent beat down and we got it.

San Jose, CA’s Zscaler (ZS), a cloud-based web security provider at these levels for a bounce play as it got slammed this week after being downgraded and closed down 11.26% at $71.80 on Monday and lost another 1.3% today closing at $70.80. ZS popped to $74.51 today for an approximate 5% gain.

Now we are looking at The Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) for another bounce play. HAIN shares closed trading at $18.36/share today after a recent analyst downgrade and price drop from the $22 level that seemed to be triggered by fears surrounding The Brexit issue and timeline.

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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