A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Capstone Turbine (Nasdaq: CPST) shares spiked by roughly nine percent on Friday after the company announced another very significant purchase for its low-emission microturbine units.  This movst recent order included 25 C65 and two C1000 units - all destined for the Permian Basin shale play beneath West Texas and southeastern New Mexico - and follows suit of a strong showing for the company during the new year's opening weeks.  The bang of big orders to open the new year is certainly bringing renewed attention to the Capstone Turbine stock, as volume rolled in at nearly three times the norm on Friday, but the company has yet to become a profitable one, which give the shorts an opportunity to jump on top of rallies such as this one.  Should this bombardment of new orders continue into the new year, however, enough momentum may exist to sustain a prolonged period of highs... 

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Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) shares were down by over fifteen percent during premarket trading on Tuesday morning after an early-hours press release informed investors that the FDA is standing firm and will not re-instate the ANCHOR SPA agreement for Vascepa.  As discussed last week in a Seeking Alpha piece, the FDA had missed its original announcement date, but the quick turnaround is an indication that FDA officials were merely digging through the backlog of work that piled up during holiday routine when Washington essentially shuts down for two or three weeks.  A conference call is scheduled for 8 AM Monday as the company is likely to lay out further plans for appeal.  The call will most likely be geared to reassuring investors who may decide to bail out after another round of negative news.  Any shorts still looking to cover after last year's fall will be able to do so a bit more easily now - and at lower prices - barring any unexpected news, such as a sale of Amarin to another company for 'Crazy Eddie' prices.

Look out for today's 8 AM conference call as the company looks to reassure investors, as best as it can.

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) will become a topic of much discussion on Thursday as an announcement made by the company just after the market close on Wednesday stated the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP) within the U.S. FDA notified the company that a decision on reinstating the SPA for Vascepa in the ANCHOR indication would not be forthcoming on the 15th. The delay is not interpreted by Amarin officials as being a long way, based on its own ongoing discussions with DMEP, but investors are left to figure out what "not significant" means to Amarin and the FDA.

I go into more detail in an article posted over at Seeking Alpha today, but essentially what is "not significant" to the FDA may be more "significant" to investors awaiting the news - especially the traders who may consider the time it takes to watch a couple of episodes of "Cheers" as a significant amount of time in terms of a delay...

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) is sending markets higher this morning after beating the street with its earnings report. Investors had turned skittish earlier in the week when some speculated that results from the big banks may not roll in as positive as previously thought, but BAC quells some of those fears and starts the trading day off an upbeat note.

Biotech / Healthcare:

Shares of Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP) are also on the move Wednesday morning after an FDA advisory panel overwhelmingly supported approval of Northera for the treatment of symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. CHTP saw a move higher of over 160% during the premarket trading hours, after posting similar gains during after-hours on Tuesday, and are likely to open well in the green. Buyers beware, however, as a panel voted in favor of approval for this drug in 2012, before the FDA ultimately rejected approval. That said, even with some wise profit-taking entering the picture, there's likely going to be enough volatility and upwards movement left in CHTP where investors can trade themselves into having only house money left for decision day...

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN), which offered some M&A news yesterday to kick off the new week, issued news again on Tuesday morning, announcing the initiation of a Phase 2 trial with lead pipeline candidate Prophage in the treatment of melanoma, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy for the treatment of Stage III and IV metastatic melanoma. The combination, according to a Tuesday morning release, has the potential to trigger a more effective immune response against the tumor than Yervoy alone. Agenus has proven to be a decent speculative trade in the past and news such as this fuels the speculative outlook for those betting on Prophage success. Bear in mind that regardless of how high these things can fly on success, it's always worth selling a few trading shares into price spikes because more companies than not fail in the sector. Bank at least some profits when you can.

Agenus picked a good week to announce news on back-to-back days with JPM14 in full swing...click the 'Read more' jump below to continue...

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It wasn't a devastating day for the markets on Monday, but the drop was enough to reinforce investor concerns about the upcoming earnings reports and Friday's weak jobs numbers. Additional concerns were voiced by numerous media outlets that investors are also concerned about the overvaluation of stocks following last year's run, as the S&P's price-to-earnings ration is at its highest in seven years. Given that the markets closed near their lows on Monday, investors will anticpate another rough day on Tuesday, barring any unexpected jolt of good news.

Not even the healthcare sector - which is on showcase this week in San Francisco with the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in full effect - was immune to the sell-off, as there was quite a bit of red mixed in with some green as the day progressed. I guess it doesn't help the sector any either when A-Rod isn't out there buying up all those experimental pipeline products.

Down market or up, there's always quite a few individual stocks and stories to talk about - here's just a few of them to keep an eye on Tuesday...

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A brief roundup of stocks making news this morning...

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT) is down big during pre-market hours. Company is a late addition to the JPMorgan healthcare conference in San Francisco this week after Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN) pulled out to focus on the FDA and the SPA for Vascepa in the 'Anchor' indication. Investors will key on what company officials have to say about future timelines for trials - the liver disease drug behind the price spike is still mid-stage - and will also concentrate on the potential safety concerns raised regarding increased 'bad' cholesterol in patients last week.

Agenus Inc (NASDAQ: AGEN), which made some noise last year with Phase II Prophage results in brain treating brain cancer, announced during the early hours on Monday a definitive agreement to acquire 4-Antibody AG, a privately-held European firm with a "technology platform for the rapid discovery and optimization of fully-human antibodies against a wide array of molecular targets of interest." Shares were spinning modestly higher during pre-market as this acquisition boosts the long term value of the company, but this morning's spike may be more related to the general rally in the healthcare sector as a whole, and not necessarily related to this news. Agenus also announced Monday morning the appointment of a new Chief Scientific Officer, a newly-created position...
 
 

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Friday's jobs report is likely to drive trading patterns throughout the day, while actual and projected earnings numbers could also come into play. Consensus has it that the jobs report should be a relatively positive one, continuing an encouraging trend, but investors are also aware that the positive trend may also factor into the Fed's decision to continue easing off its long-running stimulus program that has provided an economic crutch since the depths of the recession. It's apparent from this week's release of December's Fed minutes that the office is in agreement that the program finally come to an end, but officials plan to tread cautiously as to not spook the markets into a sell-off.

For full article, including insight into recent trading for MNKD, SIRI, CPST and others, visit Seeking Alpha by clicking HERE...

 

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Happy 2014, everyone. This year is sure to bring the same excitement as the previous few years, given the record-setting closing months of 2013 and the renewed sense of enthusiasm from both new and experienced investors. As always, some key political and geopolitical events are likely to influence trading this year, namely the tapering off of Washington's bond-buying stimulus program. The market responded nicely late last year to news that the tapering would be slow in order to avert any quick and drastic impacts on the economy, but reports indicate that the program is likely to be gone by the end of the year. Washington has no desire to see the end of the stimulus program put a dent in the record progress of 2013, but some investors will remain wary that the full-steamed recovery can continue without the ever-present crutch that the bond-buying provided.

For full article, visit Seeking Alpha by clicking HERE...

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