Bio blitz

  • Prominent gene-editing stocks have more than doubled since March
  • Trend toward partnering with larger biopharma companies?
  • Here we gold again: Bullion threatens breakout with rally to 8-year high

The recent focus in pharma may be on developing coronavirus vaccines and treatments—and some stocks in that hunt have posted some explosive rallies (not to mention pullbacks) in recent weeks—but the glare of that spotlight may have distracted traders from some pretty incredible price action elsewhere in the biotech industry.

Yesterday, gene-editing company CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) shot up more than 10% intraday to a new all-time high of $79.92, while fellow gene editor Editas Medicine (EDIT) rallied a similar amount to a nearly two-year high of $36.78.

While CRSP and EDIT are arguably the twin 800-lb. gorillas of the gene-editing space—companies that physically manipulate genetic material to cure and treat different diseases—even the lesser-known Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) has rallied well over 100% off its March lows:

Chart 1: CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP), Editas Medicine (EDIT), Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA), 3/16/20–6/24/20. Gene-editing stocks price chart. Gene editors up more than 100% from March lows.

Source: Power E*TRADE

Although NTLA is much smaller than its fellow gene splicers (and has a smaller stock price tag), it’s actually the biggest gainer of this trio since March 16. One notable development has been the company’s partnership with biopharma giant Regeneron (REGN) to create a treatment for hemophilia—an arrangement that was expanded earlier this month.1

Of course, rallies like these are always susceptible to pullbacks—all three of these stocks have exploded over the past couple of weeks—but they’re a reminder to keep tabs on areas of the market that may be heavy on momentum but light on headlines.

Third time’s the charm? After last Friday’s upturn woke gold from an early summer siesta, the yellow metal has kept its foot on the gas this week, pushing up against resistance near its eight-year highs for the third time since mid-April. August gold futures (GCQ0) rallied more than 1% to $1,786.10 on Tuesday—just shy of the market's April and May intraday highs—and closed at a new contract high:

Chart 2: August gold futures (GCQ0), 2/14/20–6/24/20. Gold futures price chart. Approached resistance on Tuesday.

Source: Power E*TRADE

While gold bears are probably expecting another retreat from resistance, gold bulls (many of whom may be worried about a weakening US dollar and/or anticipating a stock-market downturn) are likely operating on the assumption that a meaningful push above resistance could set off buy orders in many trend-following futures trading systems, and also trigger the stop-loss orders of short traders, who could add fuel to the upside fire if forced to cover their positions.

Market Mover Update: Werner Logistics (WERN) rallied more than 2% yesterday to recoup a little more of Friday’s downturn (see “Logistics stock on the move”).

Today’s numbers (all times ET): FHFA House Price Index (9 a.m.), EIA Petroleum Status Report (10:30 a.m.).

Today’s earnings include: National Beverage (FIZZ), Huazhu Group (HTHT), KB Home (KBH), Winnebago (WGO), Paychex (PAYX).


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1 Zacks Equity Research. Regeneron Expands Deal With Intellia for Hemophilia Treatments. 6/2/20.

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