After a big week of tech earnings news, stocks and investors will move onto fourth quarter 2022 earnings for consumer stocks, health care, and a little taste of fintech.
Shares of Eli Lilly (LLY), a pick for my Jubak Pick’s Portfolio in a post yesterday, are up 8.89% today as of noon New York time, September 28, on news that an experimental Alzheimer’s drug from Biogen (BIIB) and Japan’s Eisai(ESALY) slowed cognitive and functional decline by 27 percent in a clinical trial. Today shares of Biogen are up 38.07% and shares of Eisai are up 62.6% on the news. Why the pop in Lilly? As I explained in my post yesterday, Lilly has its own Alzheimer’s drug in development and positive results out of Biogen/Eisai are thought to be a positive for that drug too.
I’m extremely reluctant to add any stocks to any portfolios right now. There’s just too much near-term uncertainty and we remain locked in the grip of a pushing Bear Market. But I do want to upgrade my portfolios when possible to increase their future upside. So tomorrow September 28, I’ll be adding shares of drug maker Eli Lilly (LLY) to my Jubak Picks Portfolio; To make this an upgrade rather than an addition to this portfolio, I will also be selling shares of biotech Incyte (INCY) out of that portfolio. In this paired trade I think I’m adding a comparatively stronger drug pipeline to my holdings.
This week’s Trend of the Week is “Drug Stocks Aren’t a Safe Haven Anymore.” Drug stocks seem to have lost their safe haven status. As of September 20, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) was down 4.6% in the last month, and Pfizer (PFE) was down 7.55%. Why? Investors who were looking for safe havens may have decided they don’t need them any longer if the volatility continues to not be as bad as expected on the downside. Or many analysts cut their estimates with the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which took steps toward drug price negotiations for Medicare and Medicaid. Or since drug stocks have been falling maybe they’re no longer a safe haven. (And yes, that’s circular logic.) Some of the ETF dips can be attributed to one stock: Moderna (down 12.46% in the last month) which is considered by much of the market as a one-trick pony–a Covid stock. However, I’m adding Moderna to the Jubak Picks Volatility Portfolio on September 27 because the company has a pipeline full of new vaccines based on the success of their Covid vaccines. Overall, drug stocks may not be the safe havens that they once were but there are still selective buys in the sector.
The federal government has agreed to purchase 105 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s rebooted vaccine for $3.2 billion, the Washington Post reported on Friday. At $30.50 a dose, that’s a premium over the initial contracts the government made for the original vaccine in 2020, when the vaccines were $19.50 per dose. the government is expected to sign a new contract with Moderna (MRNA) shortly. Pfizer (PFE) is a member of my Dividend Portfolio. The shares are up 35.14% since I added them to the portfolio on August 28, 2020. The stock is down 11.89% year-to-date for 2022 as of the close on Friday, July 22. However, they are up 4.40% in the last month. Pfizer pays a 3.12% dividend.
Of course, there’s nothing even vaguely normal about a day when a stock falls 43% and takes much of the market with it.Snap’s (SNAP) plunge did take some surprising candidates along for the ride. Tesla (TSLA) dropped 6.93% on yet more bad news on production in its Shanghai factory. Disney (DIS) fell 4.01% just because. SentinelOne (S) was lower by 8.11% since everyone knows that cybersecurity stocks are just a fad.
But on balance, on the green side (and yes, there was a green side to the market) the market did what markets are supposed to do in the face of bad news and an increase in fear.
I can’t find Big Pharma stock in the green during Friday’s big rally. Which makes me question the staying power of Friday’s move. If the day’s gains were the result of a market bottom, wouldn’t everything be up? Even the very defensive drug stocks? Not as much as the tech losers of 2022 but still if the market had bottomed I’d expect these stocks to be in the green too. More evidence, I think, for my thesis that Friday was the result of technical trading in an over-sold market.
Pfizer (PFE) will buy privately held respiratory syncytial virus drug maker ReViral for up to $525 million. Wall Street liked the deal–the stock was up 4.33% today, April 7–because it fits with Pfizer’s RNA virus program, which produced a successful vaccine for Covid-19.
In remarks prepared for a Tuesday speech to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said “Currently, inflation is much too high and is subject to upside risks. The committee is prepared to take stronger action if indicators of inflation and inflation expectations indicate that such action is warranted.” And she called for reducing the Fed’s balance sheet as early as next month. The bond market certainly heard Brainard’s remarks as a promise of more action faster.
Special Report: A Recession is Coming–Part 1: Three Portfolio Strategies for a Recession today; Part 2: 10 Recession Stock Picks to come tomorrow
A Recession is coming! Probably.The odds are now high enough so that you and your portfolio should pay attention. So there are really three important questions. First, how likely is a Recession?In this Special Report I’m going to lay out the reasons for thinking that a Recession is on the way. Probably in the second half of 2022 or in 2023. Second, what strategies should you, as an investor, use to navigate in your portfolio through a Recession? In this Special Report I’m going to explain three strategies–call them general rules of the road–for investing during (and after) a Recession.
And, third, what specific stocks or bonds or ETFs or options should you use to implement those strategies to give you the biggest investing edge possible during this Recession? That’s where the 10 Recession Stock Picks come in. Look for that post tomorrow, March 22.
Yesterday the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.14% and market leading stocks such as Applied Materials (AMAT) dropped 0.78%. Big drug stocks made up the only sector in the green as Pfizer (PFE) rose 2.59%,and AbbVie (ABBV) gained 1.23%. The fears yesterday were that the Omicron Variant of the Covid-19 virus would slow the economy and that Senator Joe Manchin had just killed prospects for any stimulus from the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better bill. Today the S&P 500 closed up 1.78%. A market leader like Applied Materials rose 4.42%. A big drug stock such as Pfizer was down 3.39%.
Executives at Pfizer (PFE), which, remember, makes a Corona-19 vaccine–said yesterday, December 8, that the new Omicron Variant could increase the likelihood that people will need a fourth coronavirus vaccine dose earlier than expected.