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Back on March 6, I added shares of Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) to my new Volatility Portfolio on my paid and sites. Today I’m selling the shares out of that portfolio after a huge pop–Nektar is up 38.32% today as of 3 p.m. New York time to $21.44. (The shares closed at $14.38 on March 6.) You don’t have to sell today. I added Nektar to the portfolio with a target price of $28 so there’s still room to run and the company has five presentations that could push the stock higher at the coming American Association for Cancer Research meeting (April 1 to April 5.) But the market as a whole feels like it is getting nervous and I’d like to cut my exposure to the very volatile biotechnology sector here. If the stock were to drop back below $20 I’d consider a new buy.

Sorry that you missed that trade, but I’m not telling you about it just to taunt you. The theory back on March 6 was that we were entering a very supportive season for biotech stocks. Prices had dipped a bit just as we were about to begin the medical conference season, which gives biotechs with any news at all a big showcase for the promising new drugs in their pipelines. The American College of Cardiology’s annual conference runs from March 13 to 15 in Washington, D.C.. The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research begins on April 1 and extends to April 5, also in Washington. The American Academy of Neurology meets from April 22 to April 28 in Boston.

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) was, in my opinion, the most promising way to play biotech conference season. Nektar had presentations at the cancer research meeting and the company would also report results for a new painkiller that was as effective (or more so) as the current generation of opioids but that was far less addictive. It’s the report on that drug that has popped the stock today. In a Phase III trial of 600 patients Nektar’s drug candidate NKTR-181 significantly improved chronic low back pain–average pain scores dropped by 65%. In an earlier human abuse study NKTR-181 showed itself significantly less addictive than the current opioid of choice oxycodone. At even the highest doses NKTR-181 was barely distinguishable from the placebo in terms of feeling high.

But Nektar wasn’t the only biotech that I thought would experience the conference effect. Today I’ve made my original March 6 post on this strategy my free post of the month on my site. You can read it for free by going to and then clicking on the Post of the Month arrows (either forward or back) to get to this story. (In the process, you’ll see other Post of the Month posts.)

Free. No credit card required. Although if you decide you want to subscribe, I certainly won’t chase you away with a big stick.

Anyway that’s what I’m working on at my subscription sites, and And this pick is a sample–no guarantee that the others will be as successful as quickly, of course–of the kind of investments/trades I’m trying to find for my new Volatility Portfolio.

I hope there’s some value to you in passing on the direction of my thinking about the market on those sites.

If you decide that you’d like more of my thoughts on the market in my or posts, I’m hoping that you’ll subscribe to my sites for either $79 or $199.