Companies featured in the current edition of the newsletter: CVM, OCLS
The Italian election sent international markets into a sharp decline on Monday, but strong economic data provided a boost at the end of the week. The looming sequestration barely rattled markets and investors seemed to focus on unexpectedly positive employment and manufacturing data. The Dow Jones Industrial Index finished the week strong with a 35 point gain on Friday, and the index closed at 14,089. It rose 89 points or 0.6% for the week, and is now up 7.5% for the year. The Nasdaq finished up only 8 points or 0.3% for the week, closing at 3,169. It is now up 5% for the year. The S&P 500 closed at 1,518 after gaining a net of 3 points, or 0.2%, for the week, and is now up 6.5% for the year. The Russell 2000 was the only one of these indices to fall for the week, losing 2 points or 0.2% to close at 914. It remains up 7.7% for the year.
New home sales in January jumped to 437,000, from 378,000 in December, a 16% jump and the strongest number since July 2008. Consumer confidence rose, according to the Conference Board, to 69.0 in February, up sharply from the dip in January due to the payroll tax cut expiration. Durable goods orders fell 5.2% in January, mostly on Boeing’s January orders report which dropped transportation orders by 19.8%. Non-transportation orders rose by a fairly strong 1.9% for the month. Initial unemployment claims dropped to an unexpectedly low 344,000 for the week ending February 23rd, from 366,000 the week before. The continuing claims level fell from 3.17 million for the week ending February 9th down to 3.07 million the following week. The second estimate of GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2012 showed an increase of 0.1%, up from the initial reading which showed contraction. Personal income fell 3.5% in January after increasing 2.6% in December, while personal spending rose 0.2% as consumers dipped into savings. The savings rate dropped from 6.4% in December to 2.4% in January.
Home improvement rivals Home Depot and Lowe’s both beat market expectations for the quarter, driving up their stocks. This could be a sign that the housing market is improving as more homeowners are fixing their homes, although their numbers were also aided by homeowners continuing to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. The Home Depot announced that it earned $1.02 billion or $0.68 per share, up from $774 million or $0.50 per share in the year ago quarter. Lowe’s net income meanwhile totaled $288 million, or $0.28 per share, down from $322 million or $0.26 per share. Best Buy’s stock surged after a better than expected earnings report as well, with a loss of only $409 million or $1.21 per share, an improvement over last year’s quarter when it lost $1.82 billion or $5.19 per share.
Conferences this week start off with the Raymond James Annual Institutional Investors Conference starting on Sunday in Orlando, followed by the Deutsche Bank and Telecom Conference starting on Monday in Palm Beach, Florida. Also on Monday, the Cowen and Co 33rd Annual Health Care Conference in Boston, the JP Morgan-Aviation, Transport and Defense Conference in New York and the Morgan Stanley Asia Technology, Media, Telecoms and Internet Conference in Hong Kong. On Tuesday, the UBS Natural Gas, Electric Power and MLP Conference in Dallas and the Citi 2013 US Financial Services Conference will take place in Boston. Wednesday brings the Wedbush Securities 11th Annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications Management Access Conference in New York, followed by the JP Morgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant and Leisure Forum in Las Vegas and the 3rd Annual Global Hunter Securities Energy Day in Dallas, both on Thursday.
CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSE MKT: CVM), a company dedicated to research and development directed at improving the treatment of cancer and other diseases by utilizing the immune system, the body’s natural defense system, has added two additional Taiwanese clinical centers in the Company’s Phase III head and neck cancer clinical trial for Multikine®(Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection), CEL-SCI’s flagship investigational immunotherapy. The first center is the China Medical University Hospital located in Taichung, Taiwan, and the second center is the Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital located in Hualian Taiwan. Following the positive safety review by the DSMB that supervises this Phase III study, the clinical trial is expanding significantly, as the trial sites look to enroll the target 880 patients as quickly as possible. The objective of the Multikine trial, which is the largest head and neck cancer study of its kind ever conducted, is to demonstrate a statistically significant 10% improvement in overall survival in patients treated with Multikine when compared to patients who received the standard of care only. Multikine is a first line treatment of 15 local injections over 3 weeks before surgery and radiation is used in treatment. If Multikine is approved for use following the completion of the clinical development program, Multikine would become a new kind of therapy in the fight against cancer: one that employs the body’s natural ability to fight tumors. CVM stock closed at the same price as the week prior, $0.26 a share.
Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: OCLS), a commercial healthcare company that designs, produces and markets innovative, safe and effective drugs, devices and nutritional products, announced that it has strengthened its IP portfolio with the issuance of a U.S. patent for the treatment of skin ulcers with Microcyn® technology. In the application, Microcyn® technology can be delivered to skin ulcers via washing, irrigation and soaking or through application of a wound dressing saturated in the Microcyn Technology. The patent claims that Microcyn Technology will: reduce the microbial load of an infected diabetic foot ulcer; decrease the recurrence rate of an infected diabetic foot ulcer; decrease the likelihood of dehiscence of an infected diabetic foot ulcer; decrease the likelihood of amputation resulting from an infected diabetic foot ulcer. Healing skin ulcers is a significant challenge in healthcare around the world. OCLS now has 33 issued patents (seven in the U.S. and two in the E.U.) as well as 113 pending applications directed to chemical compositions, apparatuses, methods of manufacturing and therapeutic uses. OCLS stock closed down $0.03 last week, at $0.60 a share.
A profile, description, or other mention of a company in the newsletter is neither an offer nor solicitation to buy or sell any securities mentioned. While we believe all sources of information to be factual and reliable, in no way do we represent or guarantee the accuracy thereof, nor the statements made herein. THE READER SHOULD VERIFY ALL CLAIMS AND DO ITS OWN DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY SECURITIES MENTIONED. This publication accepts compensation from companies that it features. This newsletter should not be regarded as an independent publication. Our editors may, from time to time, acquire positions in the companies that they cover. This could represent a conflict of interest. The CEOcast newsletter shall be under no obligation to inform readers about its trading activities. CEOcast's editors reserve the right to buy or sell shares in these companies at any time. The following companies, featured in this newsletter, have compensated CEOcast: CEL SCI Corporation, five thousand dollars and three hundred fifty thousand shares of stock for a one-year program, Oculus Innovative Sciences ten thousand dollars in cash.