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Morning Coffee: Potential Cure For Alzheimer’s, Trade War Intensifies, Bitcoin Remains In Range

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Stocks and Securities

U.S. stocks futures dipped Friday, following the implementation of much-anticipated import tariffs by the Trump administration and China. The United States and China have imposed steep new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s exports.

U.S. tariffs of 25{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} are targeting more than 800 Chinese products worth $34 billion such as industrial machinery, medical devices and auto parts. They kicked in just after midnight ET.

Beijing immediately responded with tariffs on over 500 US products including SUVs, meat and seafood. It accused the United States of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history.”


Dow Industrial AverageS&P 500Nasdaq 100Russell 2000












The Biotech sector will be in focus this morning as shares of Biogen Inc. (BIB) soared 12{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} toward a five-month high in premarket trade, after the biotechnology company and Tokyo-based Eisai Co. Ltd. announced positive results from a phase 2 trial of the companies’ Alzheimer’s treatment. The final analysis at 18 months of the 856-patient clinical study with BAN2401 in early Alzheimer’s disease demonstrated statistically significant slowing in clinical decline and reduction of amyloid beta accumulated in the brain, the companies said in a release late Thursday.

“New data provide compelling evidence to further support amyloid hypothesis as a therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease,” the companies said.

Biogen’s stock had lost 6.2{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} year to date through Thursday, while Eisai’s U.S.-listed shares had run up 25{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15}

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 19 cents at $77.20 a barrel. U.S. crude slipped 2 cents to $72.92. Top exporter Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised oil output by almost 500,000 barrels per day last month, OPEC sources said, a sign Riyadh wants to make up for shortages elsewhere and dampen prices.

Crude oil WTICrude oil Brent







Blockchain and cryptocurrency

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) both lagged behind yesterday. The Market capitalization decreased from $273B to $268B USD (a drop of just about 2{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15}). The 24hr volume of $16.6B seems to be unchanged, while the BTC dominance of 42.5{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} seems to be slowly increasing.

Bitcoin price - BTC/USD chartEthereum (ETH) chart - ETH/USD







Despite the sluggish behaviour of Bitcoin – read our technical analysis on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) – the general consensus from analysts still seems to be very bullish.

Tom Lee, recently stated on CNBC that he believes that Bitcoin will reach $20,000 by end of year 2018. This is  20{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} lower than his initial prediction of $25,000.

Bitcoin has historically traded at 2.5 times its mining costs. It’s not out of the question that it could be over $20,000 by the end of the year at fair value.

If you think the $20,000 evaluation might be high, you might think the price prediction of ADVFN CEO Clem Chambers to be staggering. He has stated that his price target for Bitcoin (BTC) is $100,000USD.

There seems to be a growing interest from financial institutions in the cryptocurrency economy. This could be another step towards an inflow of institutional money. The co-CEO of Flow Traders NV, Dennis Dijkstra recently stated that,

People underestimate crypto. […] It’s big, and it is to be regulated very soon. The market participants are much more professional than people think. Institutional investors are interested – we know they are because we get requests.

We continue to watch as the space develops.


Stocks on the Radar

Biogen Inc. (BIB) soared 12{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} toward a five-month high upon news that Eisai may have found a piece to solving the Alzheimer’s puzzle. In their Phase II study, of the drug name BAN2401, they showed improved cognitive capabilities in patients who were administered high dose of the drug, compared to those given placebo. Although, we would like nothing more than a cure for this disease, we caution investors not to get too excited. Alzheimer’s drugs have had a 99.6{d745bfe1f0a8cfaf7934723e820c1a1fdf298af2e9634a8abb073c3029806a15} fail-rate to date. This disease is multifactorial and there is still debate surrounding the disease itself. We would suggest that our readers consider selling into this news/strength.






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Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. The Author does not hold any of the securities discussed above.
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Author avatar

Dr. Tiam Feridooni

Written by: Dr. Tiam Feridooni MD, PhD, BSc Dr. Feridooni, graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in May, 2018. Prior to enrolling in medical school, he completed his Bachelor of Science with Honours in 2010 in Biochemistry. He then obtained his PhD at Dalhousie University in Pharmacology in 2014, with a focus around regenerative medicine and stem cell transplantation. Dr. Feridooni has been published numerous high impact journals and has also co-authored a few books.

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