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  • Jonathan Poyer

Earnings Are Coming. Is The Low In For Biotech?

Last weeks hotter than expected CPI report set the stage for the fifth largest intraday reversal in the history of the S&P 500 with a trough to peak range of ~5%. Several trading desks and market makers noted closing out of options contracts and the oversold conditions contributed to the rally following the hotter than expected inflation report.

Curiously, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) entered a golden cross last week, as it has remained >30 for most of the past month, suggesting higher volatility may be approaching.

The S&P Biotechnology Select Index continues to consolidate around the 100 day moving average as earnings season kicks off in earnest this week.

Walgreens (WBA) set an early tone of optimism as they reported a top and bottom line beat and offered forward guidance ahead of expectations. WBA was one last week's best performing stocks in the S&P 500 after rallying >10% off its October low.

Biotech investors took one on the chin, however, with Relmada Therapeutics' (RLMD) announcement that the pivotal RELIANCE III study of REL-1017 in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) did not achieve its primary endpoint. A number of leading biotech investors were among the company's top shareholders and suffered an ~80% share price decline on the news.

The theme of creative destruction continued with reduction in force announcements from Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL) and Neubase Therapeutics (NBSE).

Additionally, Imara (IMRA) announced a reverse merger with Enliven Therapeutics to advance the latter's pipeline of precision oncology therapeutics.

Specialists are hopeful the low is in for biotech as the culling of the herd and expected favorable earnings announcements make the sector more attractive.

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