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Regenerative Medicine Weekly Trend Line

May 21, 2011 1:32 PM ET
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.
Shares of regenerative medicine stem cell companies were again …pummeled by depreciating markets by Friday, 5/20/11.

At the end of the week, the NASDAQ was down -19.99 (-0.71%) to 2803.32. The Dow was down -93.28 (-0.74) to 12,512.04.

US equities closed lower on Friday, ending a 2 day rally; cementing the 3rd straight week of losses as worries about European government debt added to concerns about a US economic slowdown. The early session was dominated by 2 catalysts: a recast of 2nd half expectations guidance and a Euro driven slide which dipped crude nearly (2%) towards $97/bbl. Dynamics for the latter catalyst eased mid-morning as the Euro recovered off lows, sending crude back towards $100/bbl, and taking with it the broader energy sector.

There was a little good news for the US economy – gasoline prices are now down about $0.10 per gallon nationally from the recent peak and initial weekly unemployment claims declined last week.

Drowning on, the market is down just 2.2% from its late April peak. That’s too shallow to even be called a correction. So why do things feel so much worse than they are? Maybe it’s because the easy, dominant trade of the past 8 months – selling low-yielding dollars to buy rallying commodities – has vanished now that the dollar has strengthened, and commodity exchanges are raising margin requirements to cool speculation. Sectors that have led the market – like energy and industrials – are faltering, and the lack of leadership adds to the creeping bewilderment and stocks’ desultory flip-flopping. 

Visibility remains a constant as all market issues over-whelmed any thoughts of investment.  Losses per share (LPS) earnings have been increasing as elements of conviction continue to be the indicator of momentum initiatives … (Last week close, 5/13/11 = LW)

Advancers (7):

  • Advanced Cell Technology (OTC: ACTC) up $0.001 (0.45%) to $0.20 (LW $0.205);
  • Aastrom (ASTM) up $0.02 (0.72%) to $2.81 (LW $2.77);
  • BioMimetic (BMTI) up $0.15 (1.89%) to $8.10 (LW $8.10);
  • Neuralstem (AMEX:CUR) up $0.07 (5.11%) to $1.44 (LW $1.48);
  • NeoStem (AMEX: NBS) up $0.01 (0.62%) at $1.62 (LW $1.67)
  • Pluristem (PSTI) up $0.05 (1.71%) to $2.91 (LW $2.63);
  • StemCells (STEM) up $0.012 (1.80%) to $0.697 (LW $0.77).

Decliners (10):  

  • Athsersys (ATHX) down  -$0.10 (-3.64%) to $2.65 (LW $2.74):
  • BioHeart (BHRTE.OB) down -$0.010 (-5.0%) to $0.19 (LW:$0.20);
  • Brainstorm (BCLI) down -$0.010 (-3.57%) to $0.27 (LW $0.262);
  • Cytori (CYTX) down -$0.08 (-1.58%) to $5.28 (LW $6.08);
  • Geron (GERN) down -$0.06 (-1.27%) to $4.65 (LW $4.96);
  • ImmunoCellar Therapeutics (OTCPK:IMUC) down -0.01 (-0.56%) to $1.77 (LW $1.89);
  • Opexa (OPXA) down -$0.05 (-2.84%) $1.71 (LW $1.76);
  • Osiris (OSIR) down -$0.25 (-3.39%) to $7.12 (LW $7.38);
  • ReNeuron Group (RENE.L) down -$0.30 (-5.84%) to $4.92 (LW $5.33);
  •  Tengion (TNGN) down -$0.04 (-2.63%) to $1.48 (LW $1.85).                                     

Flat (3):

  • BioTime (AMEX: BTX) flat at $5.03 (LW $5.53);
  • International Stem Cell (OTCQB:ISCO) flat at $1.11 (LW $1.15);
  • ThermoGenesis (KOOL) flat at $2.19 (LW $2.27).    

The Bottom Line: Tired of gloom! Yet another wild week ending Friday (5/20/11), marked by continued volatility in the markets adjusting investor attitudes, as can be seen by the numbers. Declining stocks versus advancers (10 to 7 versus last weeks 14 to 3) shows weak indicators. Market unrest is killing our sector. The biggest winners (that is a misnomer) of the regenerative medicine universe Friday’s close were BioMimetic (BMTI) up $0.15 (1.89%) to $8.10; Neuralstem (AMEX:CUR) up $0.07 (5.11%) to $1.44 followed by Pluristem (PSTI) up $0.05 (1.71%) to $2.91 and its competitor in the CLI disease state Aastrom (ASTM) up $0.02 (0.72%) to $2.81.

The week’s activities in review were:  The earnings report card additions; Stem’s proxy filing to affect a reverse stock split; CIRM’s nomination of a new chairman; BioTime’s earnings (AMEX: BTX Q1/11 earnings -Q1/11 net loss of $3.4M or $0.07 per share); NeoStem’s Q1/11 earnings (AMEX: NBS -Q1/11 net loss of $9.69 M or $0.14 per share); Aastrom’s Q1/11 earnings (ASTM –  Q1/11 net loss of $5M or $0.13 per share).

Reiterating, I believe “buying the dips” could be a frustrating endeavor in the week ahead.  Trading traffic has “taken” any gains from the previous week and months. Hesitancy continues to be nudged by depreciating volume indicators. As mentioned last weeks, comment of conventional-wisdom of “sell in May” rule of thumb seems to ring true as optimism is suspect.  Reiterating, short sale ratio data continues to carry significance.  Guidance: Short term (1-2 months) I STILL see continued gyration, near term (2-4 months) I feel slow appreciation but, long term (4-6 months) expect solid appreciation. A few more upward movements could be a potent elixir to motivate buying!!

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