Week of March 9, 2020
So much for a relief rally.
As the number of global coronavirus cases passes 100,000, fear is sending markets lower. At the moment, Dow futures are down another 710 points. The total number of cases now stands at 100,055, with the majority of the cases in China, South Korea, Iran and Italy, reports CNBC.
And while the U.S. just added 273,000 jobs in Feb. 2020, the virus fear could pose a real threat to hiring in coming months. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the U.S. economy can keep up with the current pace of job creation with coronavirus concerns. Airlines for example are cutting back on flights, for example, as people begin to cancel travel plans.
The good news is our recently featured opportunities have done well.
On Feb. 24, 2020, for example, we spoke about the opportunity in Alpha Pro Tech (APT), as it traded at $6.65. It’s now up to $16.47. We also spoke about Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), as it traded at $4.10. It’s now up to $9.80.
Until the virus story begins to fade, some of the best opportunities are still virus-based.
Opportunity No. 1
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO)
INO could push even higher on news its INO-4800 vaccine could start human trials by April 2020. Once those trials begin, and see success, shares of INO could explode. “We immediately began preclinical testing and small-scale manufacture and have already shared robust preclinical data with our public and private partners,” Kim said as quoted by MarketWatch. “We plan to begin human clinical trials in the U.S. in April and soon thereafter in China and South Korea, where the outbreak is impacting the most people.”
Opportunity No. 2
3M could see a good deal of upside with face mask demand. Better, according to the Vice President Mike Pence, “We’re going to make sure and protect the health of our healthcare providers. As the President said, we have more than 40 million masks available today. We’ve contracted now with 3M. Thirty-five million more masks per month will be produced, and we’re also going to be working with other manufacturers.”
Opportunity No. 3
Vir Biotechnology (VIR)
Vir and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals just expanded their collaboration to include RNAi therapeutics as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.
“Given the scope and speed of the COVID-19 outbreak, Vir is seeking multiple approaches that combine our expertise in infectious disease with that of current and new partners to respond rapidly,” said George Scangos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Vir Biotechnology. “Alnylam has been an excellent partner, and our complementary capabilities made this a compelling opportunity to address this growing public health crisis.”