EconRecon: What keeps the RegMed universe where it is trading … US stock futures are being held in a tight range Thursday, 9/8/11 ahead of speeches from President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke and an interest-rate decision from the European Central Bank.
The trade deficit in the US runs with the rest of the world shrank in July, as record exports helped offset the largest trade gap with China in 10 months. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to a seasonally adjusted $44.8B in July from $51.6B last month, a decline of 13.1%, which marks the biggest percentage decline since 2/09. Downward revisions to April, May and June trade deficits could mean the final reading of Q2 gross domestic product being revised upward from 1%. The $6.2B increase in exports in July was led by industrial supplies and materials, capital goods and the highest-ever export of automotive vehicles, parts and engines, while imports fell marginally as less petroleum was used.
The European Central Bank on Thursday left its key lending rate unchanged at 1.5%, as investors increasingly expect the institution to signal its readiness to halt interest-rate hikes amid rising fears of a local and global slowdown. The Bank of England also left its key interest rate on hold at 0.5% and kept its quantitative-easing program on pause.
Weekly US jobless claims rise to 414K. Applications for unemployment compensation rose slightly last week, indicating little change in a weakUSjobs market in which net hiring remains near a standstill.
Economic growth in much of the advanced world is near stagnation and set to remain limp through the rest of the year, although a downturn on the scale of the last one appears unlikely. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., said the recovery from the so-called “Great Recession” almost came to a halt in Q2/11 in many of its 34 members, including the US and the euro area. O.E.C.D. sees weak growth ahead but No “Great Recession.”
Expectation: Obama is not expected to bring a new plan to Congress, so the buildup to his speech may be overrated. The same can be said about Bernanke’s speech. He’s going to reprint theJackson Hole speech and nothing more. Ahead of Friday’s open, a moment of silence is planned in memory of exchange members and the thousands of others who lost their lives on 9/11/01. The question … is football versus Obama, which will be more enjoyable!
My Take: The markets are moving so fast these days that fundamentals are out the window. When investors do return to fundamentals and they always do; over-looked RegMed stocks … should attract attention again. Unfortunately, hope is not an investment strategy. Buy-and-hold is not dead; it’s just not profitable, lately … as proven by the past months performance. Having read the above paragraphs, navigating these headwinds or cross currents still confuse me. But, I believe it is a great time (1M views of our blog since 1/1/11) to be in the actionable intelligence business providing real-time synthesis as well as a forum to rank and value these equities. I am nibbling in small increments …
Starting the Day: Dow futures rose 2 points to 11,417. The S&P 500 index was down 0.10 points at 1,198.90. NASDAQ futures rose 5.75 points to 2,227.75. Hong Kong stocks traded lower Thursday, as some financials weakened, while Japanese shares managed to cling on to gains. Upon the opening, the Dow fell 4.77 points to 11,410.09, declining nearly 1 point to 1,197.98. The NASDAQ rose 1.61 points to 2,550.55.
Mid-Day: The NASDAQ is UP +2.16 (+o.08%) to 2,551.10. The Dow is DOWN -6.05 (-0.o5%) to 11,408.81. I am tired of waiting for Godot now, it is Bernanke …
What’s new in the regenerative medicine/stem cell market …
Verastem, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat breast and other cancers by targeting cancer stem cells appointed José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., to Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Baselga is the Bruce A. Chabner Chair and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology atMassachusetts GeneralHospital and associate director of theMGHCancerCenter. His research includes the development of novel molecular targeted agents for cancer therapies, with special emphasis on breast cancer. His research in preclinical and early clinical development of therapies has helped develop a number of new targeted cancer-fighting agents.
Experts see potential of fetal tissue in diabetes treatment: A study in mice revealed that mesenchyme tissues, found in the fetus during the early stages of development, release chemicals that enable insulin-producing beta cells to mature and expand. The findings in PLoS Biology suggest that identifying chemicals the tissue secretes may enable health professionals to develop fully functional beta cells from stem cells in aid of type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients.
IPierian names new CEO: San Francisco-based iPierian said it has appointed Nancy Stagliano, CytomX Therapeutics’ founder and former CEO, as its permanent CEO. Stagliano will continue the efforts to discover treatments for neurodegenerative diseases using its stem cell technology, which can turn ordinary adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. Peter Van Vlasselaer, who served as interim CEO, will become the board’s executive chairman.
Neurosurgeons Use Adult Stem Cells to Grow Neck Vertebrae, University of California, Davis (NYSEARCA:UCD) Study: Neurosurgery researchers at UC Davis Health System have used a new, leading-edge stem cell therapy to promote the growth of bone tissue following the removal of cervical discs — the cushions between the bones in the neck — to relieve chronic, debilitating pain. The procedure was performed by associate professors of neurosurgery Kee Kim and Rudolph Schrot. It used bone marrow-derived adult stem cells to promote the growth of the bone tissue essential for spinal fusion following surgery, as part of a nationwide, multicenter clinical trial of the therapy.
Dendreon Corporation readies Cost-Cutting Plan, Layoffs expected: DNDN will announce a business update this afternoon that is expected to include cost reductions, including employee layoffs, aimed at helping the company reach break even with lower sales of its prostate cancer therapy Provenge. The surprise disclosure in August that Provenge sales were weaker than expected forced DNDN to pull its revenue guidance for the remainder of the year and restructure the company. DNDN’s stock price was punished severely for the Provenge mishap, with shares down 68% since reporting disappointing Q2/11 results.