“Safety, Please?” – Vista Partners Daily Market Recap 5/7/2019

By John Heerdink LinkedIn

U.S. equities tanked today as investors fled to safety after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer joined the President’s recent tweet parade by issuing a statement that the tariffs on Chinese goods would be increased from 10% to 25% at 12:01 am on May 10, 2019.  This spurred stories that brought about concerns of uncertainty and the possibility of China possibly reacting with new and increase tariffs of their own.  The Chinese delegation is still expected to show in Washinton on May 9, 2019.

With these increased fears, we also saw volatility increase significantly evidenced by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) which sharply moved closing up 25.13%. The 2x leverage ETF TVIX was up an amazing 32.81%.

All markets were down today. The S&P 500 dropped nearly 2% (1.65%). The Dow ended down 1.79% while the Nasdaq dropped 1.97% & the Russell 2000 also 2%. However, all markets remain up YTD in the double-digit range with the Nasdaq leading the way up 20% YTD.

Caterpillar (CAT) did fare well today as it dropped 2.26% after yesterday’s positive move. Out of the energy sector, Chevron (CVX) was relatively flat only dropping .11% and Exxon (XOM) slid .53%. Intel (INTC) dropped another 1.44% closing at $50.48/share along three other tech giants that slid too as Microsoft (MSFT) was down 2.05%, Apple (AAPL) fell 2.70% & IBM dropped 1.95%.

Shares of Seattle-based biotech firm Atossa Genetics (ATOS) closed down 1.35%, putting it at $2.93 per share.

Community Health Systems, Inc (CYH) closed the day at $3.15/share down 9.22% giving back the move it made yesterday in the same range.  It seems CYH is proving to be an interesting trading vehicle for some while they wait for the CYH Management to push forward with their strategy to delever their balance sheet & sell off underperforming hospitals assets in order to improve cash flow. They seem to be making progress in these efforts, although early, evidenced by their recently published financial and operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2019.

Bucking the downward trend today, cybersecurity firm Finjan (FNJN) notched another win as it closed up a solid 2.86% at $3.15/share after hitting an intraday high of $3.29/share.  Recently, FNJN announced that on April 30, 2019, its subsidiary Finjan, Inc. entered into a patent license and settlement agreement with Zscaler, Inc. (“Agreement”). The Agreement resolved the parties’ disputes, grants Zscaler a fully paid-up license to Finjan, Inc.’s patent portfolio, mutual covenants not to sue and mutual releases, among other terms which are confidential. FNJN also reported on recent decisions by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB” or “the Board”), concerning Juniper’s multiple petitions for inter partes review (“IPR”) of certain claims relating to Finjan’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,154,844 (“the ‘844 Patent”); 7,613,926 (“the ‘926 Patent”); 7,647,633 (“the ‘633 Patent”); and 8,141,154 (“the ‘154 Patent”).

Finjan will host a shareholder update call on Wednesday, May 8 at 1:30 pm Pacific. Those interested should call 1-800-895-3361 (domestic) and 1-785-424-1062 (international.)

San Diego-based biotech firm Fate Therapeutics (FATE) closed trading today at $16.98/share down 5.19%. FATE hosted their First Quarter 2019 Financial Results conference call today. Scott Wolchko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fate Therapeutics stated, “These past several months have been particularly inspiring for the Company, as we have delivered on our multi-year journey to be the first to bring iPSC-derived cell products to patients with cancer. We believe the ability to cost-effectively mass-produce cell-based cancer immunotherapies that can be safely delivered to patients ‘on demand’ in multiple doses has the potential to transform outcomes for many patients, especially when combined with therapeutic agents that have complementary mechanisms of action such as checkpoint inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. We are very encouraged by the initial observations of safety and tolerability from the three patients who received multiple doses of FT500 in the first dose cohort, and we are excited with the initiation of the multi-dose checkpoint inhibitor combination arm where patients have previously progressed or failed therapy. In addition, we continue to make tremendous progress in advancing additional candidates from our off-the-shelf, iPSC-derived NK cell and T-cell product pipeline toward the clinic, and we look forward to generating initial clinical data with FT516 and FT596 in 2019.”

Oil prices moved 1.6% lower to close at $61.24/bbl.

 The US Dollar Index moved slightly higher up .1% closing at 97.60.

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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