Shares of biotech stock Incyte (INCY) have been down significantly in 2021. For the year to date, as of the close on March 2, the shares were down 8.45%. In the last month they’ve tumbled 12.42%. So what’s wrong? Pretty much nothing. With the individual stock anyway. What we’re watching is a lot of selling in the biotech sector as part of the recent sell-off on risk. And on substantial profit taking.
I thought there was a possibility that Vaxart (VXRT) would recover from yesterday’s 60% drop on data from the initial Phase 1 trials of its coronavirus-vaccine-in-a-pill candidate. Especially because the initial reaction over-emphasized, in my opinion, the negatives in that data. But I suspected that yesterday’s downward trend would continue for at least another day and therefore chose to sell Vaxart shares out of my Volatility Portfolio.
As of 3:15 p.m. today, February 2, in New York, shares of GameStop (GME)were down 56.22% to $98.50. That a big drop from the January 27 closing high of $347.51, but it’s still significantly above the $17.25 price on January 4. Other stocks that have ridden the Reddit WallStreetBets fever for short squeeze horses are down today too. AMC (AMC) is off 39.70% to $8.02. First Majestic Silver (AG), the big silver play of the last few days, has given up 24.28% to $16.75. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is off 14.64% to $25.77. American Airlines (AAL), an early short squeeze play, slipped 1.16% to $17.65. The only potential short squeeze bet (if it was, that is) that’s still climbing is vaccine pill biotech Vaxart (VXRT), which was up 34.30% at 3:15 and looks to be riding momentum into the close. (The shares were up 54.43% as of 3:40 p.m.) Vaxart does bring this question to mind: So if the money is coming out of GameStop, etc., where is it going?
Nektar (NKTR) is another one of those stocks that looks to be moving up more strongly right now than the relatively sparse news would explain. Shares of this biotech are up 18.96% in the last week and 24.37% for the last 3 months. I can see a stream of positive news that should be leading the stock gradually higher, but nothing that is especially “current.”
The big JPMorgan Chase healthcare conference that began today, January 10, and that runs for the rest of this week, will keep biotech stock prices moving up even as valuations in the sector look increasingly stretched.
Shares of gene therapy player Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO) soared 52.98% in the regular session today, December 10, and tacked on another 3.77% in after-hours trading. I always try to understand a huge one-day move like that–and frankly I frequently fail. Here’s my take on Sangamo’s big move on Thursday.