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Big Pharma Review Part 2

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Throughout the global pharmaceutical industry, 47% of respondents are ‘more optimistic’ about revenue growth for their company over the next 12 months relative to the previous 12 months.  A further 28% of respondents are ‘neutral’ about revenue growth as compared with 23% who are ‘less optimistic’ about their company’s revenue prospects (InfoGrok).  China is expected to continue to be a large part of the industry's growth, where the EU (obviously) is expected to slow down.  Overall, though, the pharma industry is still working through its patent cliff, with the final last call for a few blockbusters (The Calm Before the Storm). 

This is the second installment of the Big Pharma Review where the pipelines of GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and AstraZeneca will be updated/discussed (Part 1 is here).

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been in the headlines recently for its desire to acquire Human Genome Sciences for $13/share ($2.6B).  The company has plenty of cash, and it is not like it cannot afford HGSI, as GKS has a market capitalization of $114B. The company generates revenue of $43B and has a net income of $8.6B.  GSK has also increasing its stake in Theravance (THRXarticle on THRX here), and bought a German company, Cellzome, which uses a proteomics technology to analyze the efficiency of a drug and for safety profiling research.

The company's flagship products are in respiratory (Seretide/Advair (named Beyond Advair) and Avodart).  In recent news, two experimental melanoma medicines (dabrafenib and trametinib) slowed the progress of cancer with few skin complications in an early study.   Dabrafenib works by inhibiting BRAF, a mutant gene that spurs cancer cell growth in about half of melanoma patients, while trametinib is designed to thwart a related protein called MEK, which helps tumors resist an assault on BRAF.  The drug combination had a lower incidence of rash and skin lesions than had been previously reported with Roche’s Zelboraf, according to a study of 77 patients with advanced melanoma, the most-severe form of skin cancer.

Vaccines, cardiovascular and dermatology (with its Stifel acquisition from a few years ago) will continue to drive growth.  David Redfern of JPM has a very good slide deck from its 2011 Conference on GSK's revenue and pipeline here (PDF of GSK's pipeline…
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Big Pharma – Where Are We Now?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

In this article, please revisit an article written two years ago titled, "The Calm Before the Storm."  This article focused on the patent cliff that was looming in the pharmaceutical industry, that was later picked up by the New York Times and several other bloggers!  Subsequent articles were written about big pharma company's revenue streams, and the pros and cons of of their later stage pipelines.  Other articles have also attempted to identify smaller biotechs with the potential to reap big rewards, because these biotechs are possible acquisition candidates by the big pharma companies that need to fill their coffers with new, multi-billion dollar drugs -  the so called "blockbusters."

Forbes has an informative article that projects three different revenue scenarios in in the pharmaceutical industry. Forbes's last figure (below) shows what companies will best weather the storm by combining "total company revenues."

In the 'Storm' article, it is noted that pharma growth rates should be growing less or starting to stall into 2014 due to the patent cliffs (see Table 1).  A few examples of slow growing revenue streams are (2010 -2011): Pfizer $67.1B to $67.4B; Merck $46B to $48B, JNJ $62B to $62B, and AMGN $15.1 to $15.5.  The industry is still ripe for consolidation based upon forward earnings, and the numbers of blockbusters will be dwindling.  The industry is taking on more risk in therapy areas that are unmet medical needs, but have fewer patients to treat – thus higher prices will ensue.  Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) for cancer and other 'biologics' fit this pricey niche area.

Table 1. Patent Cliff 2010 – 2012
Company Drug Indication Sales in $B (2009) Patent Expiration
Pfizer/Eisai Aricept Alzheimer’s 1 2010
Merck Cozaar Hypertension 3.6 2010
Pfizer Lipitor Cholesterol 12.5 2011
JnJ Levaquin Antibiotic 1.5 2011
Sanofi/BMS Plavix Anticoagulant 9.3 2011
AstraZeneca Seroquel Antipsychotic 4.9 2011
Lilly Zyprexa Antipsychotic 4.9 2011
Merck Singulair Asthma 4.7


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Pharmboy in Technically Speaking

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Excerpt from Stock World Weekly, Technically Speaking, April 22, 2012. 

Courtesy of Pharmboy

That was a nice selloff – one that we have been waiting for, and there may be more to come! This gives us an opportunity to start easing into a few more positions that are already in our virtual portfolio. The virtual portfolio had a few options that we sold and that expired worthless this month: the PLX $5 April 2012 puts, and the INFI $5 April 2012 puts. 

Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (PLX, $6.78) has an FDA decision coming up, and we have several positions in it still open. I’m waiting for the decision. For those that like to gamble on risky events, the May $7.5 calls make a good risk/reward for $0.80 cents. I like selling the $10 calls for $0.25 cents, which limits the upside, but also reduces the cost to $0.55 cents for the spread. 

OPKO Health, Inc. (OPK, $4.99) is another biotech I like at current prices. Scott Brown at Sabrient has also featured OPK as an insider buying play in Stock World Weekly’s April 1 issue:

Scott sent in two long trade ideas for this week’s newsletter. First, Scott likes OPKO Health Inc. (OPK, $4.73) because of the repeated insider buying of the stock. “55 buys this year … almost daily.” Scott shared an interview with Dr. Phillip Frost, OPKO’s Chairman and CEO, on Seeking Alpha, by John Eastman. Here’s the introduction:

“‘OPKO Health Inc. Is a pharmaceutical and diagnostics company headquartered in Miami, FL that develops and commercializes novel and proprietary technologies that include molecular diagnostics tests, vaccines to diagnose, treat, and prevent neurological disorders, infectious diseases, oncology, and ophthalmologic diseases. The company works in the United States, Chile, and Mexico and is headed by Phillip Frost, M.D…’ Continue reading the interview with Dr. Frost here.

OPK’s CEO continues to accumulate shares, and the stock is trading at around $5. I think selling the September $5 call and put for $1.20 combined, coupled with the purchase of shares, has a good risk/reward profile.

As for other new trades:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX, $36.58) was already a winner once, and I think the time is ripe to start scaling in for owning shares of this company longer term. I like selling one…
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VVUS and ARNA

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

By Pharmboy at Phil's Stock World

Excerpt from Stock World Weekly, Tightening the Screws

I expect the market to continue pulling back. But biotechs should mostly hold their ground. There are a few catalysts coming up, including with the companies Vivus and Arena. Both companies have been focusing on the obesity market. VVUS has Qnexa (a combination pill of phentermine and topiramate) and ARNA has Lorqess (a novel 5-HT2c receptor agonist).

Catalyst 1 – Vivus's stock (VVUS, $22.53) rocketed up on the PDUFA thumbs up (PDUFA = Prescription Drug User Fee Act – a group of doctors and experts meet to express their opinion about a drug). The FDA usually follows the experts’ recommendation, but not always. The FDA has yet to rule. A ruling should happen on or before April 17, 2012.

For VVUS, I like playing for a failure, as the risks to me outweigh any benefits. A very conservative GAMBLE is buying an April 2012 $20/$19 bull put spread for $0.30 or less.

Catalyst 2 – Arena (ARNA, $3.07) had a strong run from the $1.20 range, and now trades at $3.

ARNA has a PDUFA date set for June 27, 2012. If VVUS gets approval, ARNA should fair well. If VVUS is rejected, ARNA still has a chance to do well due to its drug having a different mechanism, as well as due to the patent life on its molecule.

For ARNA, I like playing a July 2012 $2.50/$3.50 bull call spread for $0.35 or less. 

Trades on these companies are all- or- none scenarios – i.e., RISKY.

 





Let’s Review: My Favorite Biotechs

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Good day PSW Members!  It has been a while since the last post, but biotech plays have been active in chat, as well as in Stock World Weekly with new trades, and updating existing ones.  I must say that the biotechs and pharma are doing well in my portfolio!  This article is mainly for the many new members that have joined the PSW chat over the past few months, as many of us oldie' but goodies are in the stock plays below in some form or another.

It remains my belief that the next few years are going to be big years for biotechs.  Pharma has expiring patents, and the big players continue to scour the landscape for up and coming companies and therapies.  One we played was MITI, and that was a nice winner for a longer term hold.  At PSW, buying and selling biotechs as day trades is not the style, as we invest in companies for longer term holds, or play them into major events, then reduce our risks/exposers using options and hedging strategies.

At the end of January, Infinity Pharma (INFI) dropped like a rock and we jumped an a conservative buy write that was a bit too conservative (bought the stock and sold the April $8/7 strangle).  INFI's stock is now above where it was when it dropped, amazing but this is how we like to enter biotechs, as if we bought at $10, well, it may not have recovered…..but that is water under the bridge now.  The company has 3 development candidates described below:

  • Saridegib (also known as IPI-926) is a novel, potent, oral molecule that inhibits Smoothened, a key component of the Hedgehog pathway.  The chemical is semi-synthetic derivative of the alkaloid cyclopamine.  The hedgehog pathway was noted in the Curis article here
  • Retaspimycin hydrochloride (also known as IPI-504) is an intravenously administered, potent and selective heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor.  HSP90 is a chaperone to other proteins – in other words, they help in the folding or unfolding of proteins as they are being made or broken down.  Think of them as the arm in a car assembly line that aid in the production or destruction of the automobile.  In cancer, HSP90 helps stabilize proteins that are upregulated in cancer.  


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Biotech Investing for 2012

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Finding new and exciting Biotech companies that target novel mechanisms is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  Sure there are many companies working on cutting edge science, but investing in those companies to reap the rewards of their work is a very dangerous game.  More often than not, companies fail because the mechanism does not pan out, the compound(s) do not have pharmacokinetics (get into the body or last very long in the body), or an adverse event happens that knocks years off a development timeline.  In addition, the stock can be manipulated by market makers so investors don't know which way is up.  I approach investing in biotechs as a long term prospect.  I continue to like our current portfolio of biotech companies (join in chat for many of those plays), and we continually add/subtract shares and sell/buy options on the vacillations of the market to reduce our cost basis.  I believe our virtual biotech portfolio is well positioned with many companies that have upside potential.

I am starting to dive into the pipelines of a few companies that went IPO last year, and there is one sticks out at me, Endocyte.

Endocyte (ECYT) has six programs in various stages of clinical trials.  The company was founded in 1996, has no marketed products, but boasts a pipeline of cancer/inflammatory disease  candidates with companion diagnostics.

First, understanding what the company's drugs do is important, then diving into the pipeline will make some sense.

Folate (water soluble Vitamin B9) is needed for DNA synthesis, DNA repair, and DNA methylation as well as to act as a co-factor in biological reactions.  In essence, it helps cells grow and multiply.  Now, scientists (chemists) are good at manipulating and mimicking  biological systems, and Endocyte has drugs that incorporate folate with vinca akloids attached to them (called a 'Trojan Horse' process).   The folate-drug complex binds to the folate receptor (FR) that is over-expressed on the cell surface of many cancers and is subsequently taken into the cell (endocytosis).   Molecules as diverse as small radiodiagnostic imaging agents to large DNA plasmid formulations have successfully been delivered inside FR-positive cells and tissues.  Endocyte has one type of folate-drug delivery system for different cancer types.

Endocyte's lead drug is EC145 which targets the…
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The Skinny on the Hepatitis C Market

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

For the past few years at Phil’s Stock World, many of my articles have focused on cancer therapies or the robust (or not so robust) big pharma pipelines.  I have not delved into many specific diseases, their mechanisms, and potential treatments.  Two of the hottest areas in the industry right now are fibrosis and hepatitis C.  In the fibrosis area, large deals are being made for early stage compounds in scientifically plausible, but unproven mechanisms (Gilead’s purchase of Arresto Biosciences for $225M, Bristol-Myers buying Amira Pharmaceuticals for $325M).  Fibrosis will be a topic for another write-up.  The area where there is a flurry of activity is in the treatment of hepatitis C.  Vertex and Merck received approval for their new drugs in May 2011, Incivek and Victrelis, respectively, where Roche bought Anadys Pharmaceuticals for $230M, and Gilead is purchasing Pharmassett for $11B! 

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral disease that is spread by blood to blood contact, and it primarily affects the liver.  The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to liver cirrhosis.  Liver cirrhosis can lead to liver failure and/or other complications, including liver cancer or life-threatening esophageal and gastric varices.1 There is no known cure or vaccine for HCV, and an estimated 180M people are infected .  The shear number of infections makes it an attractive market for pharmaceutical companies, and thus there are many drugs being clinically tested. 

Figure 2. HCV Infections

After an HCV infection, the disease enters an acute phase and subsequently, a chronic phase.  During the acute phase, people often have flu-like symptoms, decreased appetite, fatigue,abdominal pain, jaundice, and itching.  The acute phase is considered less than 6-months.  The chronic phase (50-80% of those infected) of the disease is noted by higher liver enzymes (ALT/AST), and is often discovered when people are going through a routine checkup.  The liver is often inflamed, and cirrhosis and fibrosis could also begin to set in.  Of those that are in the chronic phase of the disease, approximately 20–50% do not respond to treatment. There is a very small chance of clearing the virus spontaneously in chronic HCV carriers (0.5% to 0.74% per year).

Figure 3. Common Genotypes

Like many viruses, hepatitis C has…
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YM Biosciences – Friend or Foe

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

YM BioSciences Inc. (AMEX: YMI) develops, markets, and commercializes hematology and cancer-related products in the drug development arena.  Below is the 1 year chart showing their ascension into the $3.7 range, then precipitous drop off to almost $1. 

On the financial side, as of September 2011, the company had about $76M in cash, and was burning about $25M/yr.  The thing that we need to be aware of is that the company has filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus and a registration statement on Form F-10 (July 2011) for another $125M over the next 2 years, with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the US Securities and Exchange commission, respectively.

Over the past few years, the company has placed stock and warrant offerings for shares in the $1.20 to $1.60 range, so there is more to come – hence my not wanting to overpay.

A bit of history, in October 2009, YM BioSciences agreed to acquire all of the issued shares and options in Cytopia by scheme of arrangement. YM would exchange 1 common share for every 11.737 Cytopia shares, which would lead to the issue of 7.2 million new YM shares. This represented a share price of $0.1659, a premium of 58% over the trading price of Cytopia shares on the ASX at that time. Following the acquisition Cytopia shareholders would own 11% of YM.  This is where CYT387 came from (see below).

On the scientific side of things, the company has many drugs in the pipeline that, if they come to fruition, could give the stock and company a  bit of up side.  First, it has one drug on the market,  nimotuzumab, which is an EGF receptor-targeting humanized IgG1 mAb, for the iv infusion treatment of cancers of epithelial origin.  Many of the cancers are still in trial, including breast, lung, prostate, esophageal, head and neck and pancreatic cancers.  The drug is co-marketed with several other companies and brings in about $1M in revenue for the company. 

The Company’s flagship product is CYT-387 (in Phase 2), a small-molecule JAK1/JAK2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor, for the potential oral treatment of myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), including myelofibrosis (MF), polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET).  JAK stands for Janus Kinase, and is a receptor that is activated by a signal from interferon,
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Welcome to the World (Of Biotech)

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

What a show we have been having in the markets.  From 10% down one month, to 20% up the next, it is truly a spectacle to behold

 

In my small world, biotechs are a fantastic investment, but the area is saturated with complex targets (aka any kinase inhibitor – see below), unknown mechanisms of action (cough! cough! ITMN), and mismanagement (DCTH anyone?), but there are always diamonds in the rough that catch the eye of a scientist (me).  We are heavily invested in big pharma (i.e., MRK, BMY, GSK) for their dividend yields and pipelines, and we have our speculative plays for growth (CRIS, SGEN, IMGN, PLX, DEPO, MITI, YMI, etc).  At this point I think it is prudent to trim some winners and losers, so that we can focus on a few more that may warrant our attention in the coming year.

I have begun to reduce OPK (winner) and DCTH (loser).  The paired loss is a bit more than I would like, as DCTH has not shown us any love due to mismanagement and setbacks.  I find the technology very sound, but the way things have been handled, I would rather move to something that may have more upside, keeping 1/2 of my position in DCTH to recover any future upside.  OPK is supported by the CEO (he owns a lot of stock), but there is nothing in the immediate future that excites me at this time, so why not take some off the table and let the rest run to see how/where the stock goes. 

Immunogen (IMGN) is on a tear, and we have been in and out of them since ~$5.   SGEN is the comparator here for stock price, and Seattle Genetics (SGEN) trades at a premium due to: 1. no partner (takeout candidate?), and 2. their drug is approved.   That is where I believe IMGN can go….time will tell.  I am adding to IMGN slowly, selling calls and puts along the way.

Ariad (ARIA) is also on a roll.  The company has the best in class mTOR inhibitor (Ridaforolimus for bone sarcomas), and MRK has taken over all clinical development.  ARIA have a few new drugs in the pipeline, and they have a Phase 3 candidate unlicensed (Ponatinib), and this one is another drug that could…
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PSW Does Las Vegas

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Here’s an excerpt from the Week Ahead section of Stock World Weekly ~ the part about the trip to Las Vegas, as reported on by Pharmboy.  ~ Ilene 

Tips for Investing in a Wild Market

Phil’s Stock World had its first annual members’ meeting in Las Vegas over the Columbus Day weekend. Pharmboy submitted his notes on the adventure, so if you missed all the fun, you can still read about some of the more educational topics, in “PSW Does Vegas” below:

“First a very special thanks to PSW members Savi and LVModa for their time and efforts in making this happen. 

Twenty-four members gathered in Las Vegas to talk about trading strategies, eating, and a bit of poker. We met at Nobu for dinner, and then gathered at the Stratosphere for two friendly tables of Texas Hold ‘em.  

“Sunday started off with the first thing that Phil has preached from the beginning, start small and plant your trees to get the fruit in the future.  Phil typically notes the video, ‘The Man Who Planted Trees.’  

Here are six points to consider when investing in an unpredictable and volatile market. 

Point 1: The best way to make money is to save… If you can save $10/day, every day, and earn 5% per year for 20 years, you will have $170K saved up. As you increase this amount throughout your days, that savings will grow. Plant the trees early, and the fruit will come. Remember, this is a long-term strategy. 

Point 2: One needs to have a plan – when you go to the store, you have a plan on what to buy.  When you trade, have a plan. We always plan the next move in the stocks or options we own.  Study the chart, if it moves to a certain level, have a plan on what you will do next. And if you are called away, and make a profit, be happy. There is nothing wrong with making 5% in a month. That is 60% per year! That blows away the market. 

Point 3: Invest in what you know. Pharmboy is a scientist, and hence he invests in what he knows – biotechs and pharmaceutical companies. Follow a few companies that you know or want to know, and do your
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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Zero Hedge

4 C's That Could Change The Financial World As We Know It, Again

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mark St. Cyr

4 C’s That Could Change The Financial World As We Know It, Again

Those 4 C’s are: Confirmation, Crisis, Contagion, Catastrophe.

What type of confirmation could send the financial markets into such turmoil it could rock the very bastions of finance as we now know it?

First: Scotland votes yes to leave the U.K. If this turns out to be so, it could send shock-waves throughout the markets tha...



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Chart School

Median Household Income Growth: Deflating the American Dream

Courtesy of Doug Short.

What is the single best indicator of the American Dream? Many would point to household income growth. The Census Bureau has now published some selected annual household income data in a new report: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013. Last year the median (middle) household income was $51,939 -- a tiny increase of 0.3% 2012. Let's put the new release into a larger historical context.

My study of the Census Bureau's historical data shows a 627% growth in median household incomes from 1967 through 2013. The ride has been bumpy, but it equates to a 4.41% annualized growth rate. Sounds impressive, but if you adjust for inflation using the Census Bureau's method, that nominal 627% total growth shr...



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Phil's Favorites

Newsflash To Fed: 122 Billion Bottles Of Beer On The Wall Is About Asset Bubbles, Not Jobs

 

#455488306 / gettyimages.com Newsflash To Fed: 122 Billion Bottles Of Beer On The Wall Is About Asset Bubbles, Not Jobs

Courtesy of  

While Janet Yellen and her band of money printers work themselves into a tizzy over whether two buzz words—-“considerable time”—– should ...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Insider Scoop

Credit Suisse Sees Upside In Tableau Software Inc

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Analysts at Credit Suisse upgraded shares of Tableau Software Inc (NYSE: DATA) from Neutral to Outperform and raised the price target from $87.50 to $100.00 Tuesday.

Philip Winslow is confident in Tableau’s ability to maintain healthy revenue growth.

Analysts also identify that the company has a technology advantage in its highly-intuitive, visual-based core BI capabilities. Winslow stated, “ Tableau's development strategy positions the company to (1) continue to expand the market for business intelligence software and (2) increasingly gain market share in large enterprise deployments.”

Tableau is also experiencing International expansion momentum. Analysts view Internet expansion for Tableau as “significant” given that 5...



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Bill Gates all got together in a room with the task of building the most accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you… they never got around to building it, but my colleagues at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing but traded a handful of conservative alerts since its inception, you would have experienced portfolio gains exceeding 200%!

Plus, when you register for the webinar you’ll g...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bulls go down swinging, refusing to give up much ground

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Although the stock market displayed weakness last week as I suggested it would, bulls aren’t going down easily. In fact, they’re going down swinging, absorbing most of the blows delivered by hesitant bears. Despite holding up admirably when weakness was both expected and warranted, and although I still see higher highs ahead, I am still not convinced that we have seen the ultimate lows for this pullback. A number of signs point to more weakness ahead.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-r...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 15th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's the latest Stock World Weekly. Enjoy!

[Sign in with your PSW user name and password, or take a free trial here.]

Image courtesy of Business Insider, Jay Yarow's This Is The Best Description Of How Apple's Business Works Right Now.

 

...

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Option Review

Big Prints In VIX Calls

The CBOE Vix Index is in positive territory on Friday morning as shares in the S&P 500 Index move slightly lower. Currently the VIX is up roughly 2.75% on the session at 13.16 as of 11:35 am ET. Earlier in the session big prints in October expiry call options caught our attention as one large options market participants appears to have purchased roughly 106,000 of the Oct 22.0 strike calls for a premium of around $0.45 each. The VIX has not topped 22.0 since the end of 2012, but it would not take such a dramatic move in the spot index in order to lift premium on the contracts. The far out-of-the-money calls would likely increase in value in the event that S&P500 Index stocks slip in the near term. The VIX traded up to a 52-week high of 21.48 back in February. Next week’s release of the FOMC meeting minutes f...



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Digital Currencies

Making Sense of Bitcoin

Making Sense of Bitcoin

By James Black at International Man

Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.

Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."

The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...



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Market Shadows

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street.

Author Helen Davis Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator with a diverse trial practice in the areas of lender liability, bankruptcy, bank fraud, RICO, professional malpractice, trusts and estates, and white collar defense. In 1995, Ms. Chaitman was named one of the nation's top ten litigators by the National Law Journal for a jury verdict she obtained in an accountants' malpractice case. Ms. Chaitman is the author of The Law of Lender Liability (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1990)... Since early 2009, Ms. Chaitman has been an outspoken advocate for investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (more here).

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street. 

By Helen Davis Chaitman   

I confess: Larry D...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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