IT has been a busy week for stock traders. Stocks move to new highs on stimulus hopes. The major indexes continued to march to record highs despite one of the most tumultuous weeks in the nation’s political history. Small-caps outperformed large-caps by a wide margin, and value stocks outpaced growth shares. Energy stocks led the gains within the S&P 500 Index, after Saudi Arabia made a surprise announcement that it was unilaterally cutting oil production by 1 million barrels per day. A surge in longer-term Treasury bond yields boosted financials shares by holding out the promise of improved lending margins, but rising rates weighed on the small real estate sector.
Heightened prospects for significant fiscal stimulus under the incoming Biden administration appeared to be the major factor driving the week’s gains. According to T. Rowe Price traders, the prospects for the Democrats taking the Senate and achieving unified control of the government seemed to bolster sentiment early in the week. High levels of early voting in two runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday appeared to favor the party, and stocks then rallied sharply on Wednesday morning, after it was confirmed that Democrats had won the two seats. With 50 seats in the Senate, Democrats will now gain control of chamber given the tie-breaking vote by incoming Vice President Kamala Harris.
Let’s Discuss some of the most active stocks during past week:
- FLIR Systems / Ticker: FLIR
On Monday, FLIR Systems rose over 19 percent as Teledyne announced it would buy the company in cash and stock for $8 billion. Electronic imaging sensors are manufactured by both Teledyne and FLIR Systems, each targeting distinct markets and utilizing separate semiconductor technologies.
- Skillz / Ticker: SKLZ
due to rising investor interest in esports, Skillz jumped 21 percent on Tuesday, apparently, as the resurgence of the coronavirus perpetuates the stay-at-home lifestyle. Skillz is a leading platform for mobile games that makes professional esports matchmaking possible.
- Fate Therapeutics / Ticker: FATE
Fate Therapeutics, traded up 15% and 17% on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, after announcing a $350 million secondary offering.
- Organovo / Ticker: ONVO
Organovo, a biotechnology company focused on 3D-bioprinting, traded up nearly 17% on Wednesday possibly because investors and speculators are gaining confidence in Organovo’s ability to maximize its 3D-bioprinting assets and deliver on a revitalized commercial strategy.
- Niu Technologies / Ticker: NIU
Niu Technologies, appreciated more than 15% on Thursday after reporting that its sales of e-scooters grew 40.9% on a year over year basis last quarter, highlighting the continued adoption of its electric scooter product line, especially in China.
- Workhorse Group / Ticker: WKHS
Workhorse Group, appreciated more than 16% on Thursday in tandem with other electric vehicle stocks. The EV industry is enjoying strong share gains against its internal combustion engine counterparts and could gain more momentum now that the Democrats have majorities in both the House and the Senate.
- Intellia Therapeutics / Ticker: NTLA
Intellia Therapeutics, a CRISPR based gene-editing company with a focus on in vivo gene-editing, closed up 16% on Thursday after providing an update on its pipeline ahead of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference next week.
- Pacific Biosciences of California / Ticker: PACB
Pacific Biosciences of California, surged 16% on Thursday in tandem with a broad rally in healthcare stocks ahead of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference from January 11 to January 14. Typically, companies give business updates and make important announcements during the J.P. Morgan conference.
- CRISPR Therapeutics / Ticker: CRSP
CRISPR Therapeutics a gene-editing company creating therapeutics as potential cures for difficult to treat conditions, was up 18% on Thursday after a strong day for CRISPR based companies.
- AquaBounty Technologies / Ticker: AQB
AquaBounty Technologies (AQB), a company applying modern genetics to advance aquaculture production sustainably, closed up more than 19% on Thursday.
- Repare Therapeutics / Ticker: RPTX
Repare Therapeutics, a precision oncology company focusing on synthetic lethality, appreciated 20% on Thursday, perhaps because investors are learning more about CRISPR’s potential role in drug discovery.
- Arcturus Therapeutics / Ticker: ARCT
Arcturus Therapeutics closed up approximately 35% on Thursday after announcing its COVID-19 phase I/II data.
- Beam Therapeutics / Ticker: BEAM
Beam Therapeutics a base editing company closed up 16% on both Thursday and Friday in tandem with other CRISPR-based stocks. Investors seem to be gaining conviction that gene-editing could cure certain diseases and that base editing represents the next generation, with fewer to no off-target edits.
- Sarepta Therapeutics / Ticker: SRPT
50% Sarepta Therapeutics, a precision medicine company, closed down 50% on Friday after announcing that its Phase I study evaluating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) did not meet its primary endpoint of improvement in NSAA total score (functional skills) compared to placebo.
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