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Monday, September 18, 2017

Charts at New Market Highs

Today (9/18/17) the S&P500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at new record highs.

Here are some very interesting charts:

This chart of the Dow is best viewed on a large screen in "Full Screen Mode"
Note the break-out of the Dow above the top dashed blue line followed by a correction to test the breakout from above.  This aligned with many of my sentiment indicators where I also sent out buy alerts for several stocks for my Explore Portfolio.  


Emerging Markets have been on fire, especially since loading up while in the circled yellow region!


Biotech (IBB) is up about 50% from its 2016 bottom.  With plenty of room to the upside for the sector, I have great hope for my Explore Portfolio positions in two small biotech companies that I added to during the period of weakness.  I have some very nice gains already, but would love to see more!



Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

GSK's Shingrix containing Agenus' QS-21 Stimulon® adjuvant receives Unanimous FDA Advisory Committee recommendation for approval

LEXINGTON, Mass., Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology company with a pipeline of immune checkpoint antibodies and cancer vaccines, announced today that GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) shingles vaccine candidate, Shingrix, containing Agenus' proprietary immune adjuvant, QS-21 Stimulon®, was unanimously recommended for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

"The Advisory Committee's recommendation for the approval of Shingrix marks the first for a product that includes Agenus' proprietary immune adjuvant, QS-21 Stimulon, and serves as a significant validation," said Garo Armen, Ph.D., Agenus (AGEN) CEO and Chairman of the Board. "In addition to being studied in diverse development stage vaccines, QS-21 Stimulon is also a critical component of our neoantigen vaccine formulations. We believe QS-21 provides Agenus with a competitive advantage due to its demonstrated ability to bolster immunogenicity in diverse vaccine formulations offering potential benefit to patients."

A Biologics License Applications (BLA) filed with the FDA by GSK for Shingrix for the prevention of herpes zoster (also known as shingles) in people aged 50 years and older is under regulatory review. The FDA will consider the Advisory Committee vote as it reviews the BLA, although it is not required to follow the recommendation.

GSK's shingles vaccine candidate is not currently approved for use anywhere in the world. Regulatory filings in the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan are underway

QS-21 Stimulon is being evaluated in various GSK development candidates in addition to being studied in Agenus' neoantigen vaccine, AutoSynVax™, now in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

About Agenus 
Agenus is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system to fight cancer. The Company's vision is to expand the patient populations benefiting from cancer immunotherapy by pursuing a number of combination approaches that leverage a broad repertoire of antibody therapeutics and proprietary cancer vaccine platforms. The Company is equipped with a suite of antibody discovery platforms and a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facility with the capacity to support early phase clinical programs. Agenus is headquartered in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.agenusbio.com; information that may be important to investors will be routinely posted on our website.

Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the FDA's pending review of GSK's BLA for Shingrix, as well as statements regarding Agenus' product candidates and clinical trial plans and activities. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the factors described under the Risk Factors section of our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Agenus cautions investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Agenus undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements, other than to the extent required by law. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Contact:

Agenus Inc. 
Michael Plater 
781-674-4504
michael.plater@agenusbio.com

View original content: http://investor.agenusbio.com/2017-09-13-GSKs-Shingrix-containing-Agenus-QS-21-Stimulon-R-adjuvant-receives-Unanimous-FDA-Advisory-Committee-recommendation-for-approval

SOURCE Agenus Inc.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

During Market Turbulence Diversification Works!

Yesterday a subscriber who's worked to get a better asset allocation for her age (after subscribing to my newsletter 2.5 yrs ago in early 2015) was worried about the market and current events sent me this short email.
On 9/5/2017 5:16 PM, RH wrote: 
Hi Kirk;  
The market really looks like it tanked today, right?
OMG, I never really know what to do with next step……
I try to answer all emails, even if they don't have a specific question as I see part of my "service" is to reassure subscribers when they are worried.

Here is part of my reply (removing some personal details for this "edited" reply.)
Remember, one reason we took so many profits and diversified from US stocks that were way up to add to international stocks and build cash is the market often goes down.  You have a LOT of cash now (50:50 conservative asset allocation) so if the market goes down by 10 or 20%, then you could put some of it to work buying stocks at sale prices.
With:

  • an H-bomb tested by the nut in N. Korea plus
  • Hurricane Harvey left hundreds of thousands with huge storm damage in Texas
  • Hurricane Irma is heading towards Florida and it could be even bigger
  • Tropical storm Jose is following Irma and could hit either areas just as they start to recover..... 
yet the stock market was only off about 3% at the low!  Stocks like Finisar and GE really suffered but others that investors love, including Emerging markets (VWO) that we recently bought at much lower prices, continue to do well. 
So... remember that your asset allocation is much better now even with the stock market near record highs!  You've done the work to be ready for a big decline.... yet if the market continues to chug higher, you have enough in to do really well too!
On 9/6/2017 10:24 AM, RH wrote: 
You somehow know me well and give me peace of mind.
Thank you ever so much.
Nobody likes to see stocks they own go down but with proper asset allocation and diversification, big declines are great opportunities to increase your overall market return.

Lets say you retire with a $1,000,000 investment portfolio.  To sleep well at night you put half into fixed income and half into stocks according to my "Conservative Core Portfolio."  If the stock market drops 50%, which is has twice since the year 2000, then you would have roughly $750,000 and probably more because your fixed income on the conservative side of the portfolio would continue higher and your stock portfolio (ETFs or individual stocks) would continue to pay dividends.  

I'd use the 50% bear market to significantly add stocks to my Explore Portfolio (as I did during both bear markets.)  I would also do a MINIMUM of one portfolio reallocation from fixed income to stocks at the end of the year if stocks were still down just as last January I moved a great deal of cash out of markets that were way up in the Core Portfolios to fixed income to lock in gains.

If you need references to verify I took profits when the markets were up and bought when they were down to get the returns I post, then I am happy to provide them.  It blows me away that so many sell their newsletter services and don't provide simple return tables and graphs like I do below.  That is a RED FLAG WARNING about what they sell.


Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter
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VWO Buy Alert Sent via Email
VWO Today 



-end-

Citigroup Panic-Euphoria Sentiment Indicator

Citigroup Panic/Euphoria Model is Citi's Measure of Investor Sentiment For Stocks. 
Chart of Citigroup's Panic/ Euphoria Model  vs SPY as of September 6, 2017:
"The panic/euphoria model is a gauge of investor sentiment.  It identifies "Panic" and "Euphoria" levels which are statistically driven buy and sell signals for the broader market.  Historically, a reading below panic supports a better than 95% likelihood that stock prices will be higher one year later, while euphoria levels generate a better than 70% probability of stock prices being lower one year later.”   Source: Citigroup's Panic - Euphoria Model 
  • My November 4, 2016 Panic/Euphoria update showed the indicator was in the "Panic Zone" and SPY was $208.88.  
  • Today at $247.84,  SPY is up $38.96 or 18.7% plus dividends.
  • Shortly after publication, I sent a BUY ALERT (copy below) to my subscribers to buy 200 shares of VWO, Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF, at $35.12.  
  • Today VWO is $42.62, up $7.50 or 21.4%
  • I try to get "more bang for the buck" trading individual stocks and sector ETFs in my Explore Portfolio as a way to get better long-term returns than buy-and-hold the S&P500 with far less risk.
  • I follow many sentiment indicators to help me decide when to take profits and add to or establish new positions.  I cover these sentiment indicators in more detail, usually the most significant one or two at the time of publication, on page 7 of my monthly newsletter.

Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter
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VWO Buy Alert Sent via Email

VWO Today

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Graph: US Treasury Rates & SPY Yield

US Treasury bonds still have very low yields on an historical basis.  This chart shows US Treasury rates and the Federal Reserve's Fed Fund's Rate back to 1993.

Currently, the 10-year US Treasury bond has a 2.19% yield.


For comparison, the ETF for the S&P500, SPY, has a yield of 1.94%.

This week I used some of my profit taking from soaring technology and momentum stocks near their record highs to buy a stock that was well off it's record high with a dividend yield of nearly 4%.    

Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter Service:
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  • Get email alerts when I buy or sell securities for my explore portfolio
  • "Auto Buy" and "Auto Sell" levels set ahead of time for target buy and sell levels for my securities.  This allows you to place "limit orders" with your broker in advance so you can go about your business.
  • All questions about what I write answered by Email.  If what I write is not clear to you, just ask! 


Friday, July 14, 2017

US Fed Funds Rate vs. 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI)

This graph shows the US Federal Reserve Funds Rate  plotted vs. the 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI).  COFI is an important index for setting interest rates for home purchases and refinancing.

From the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco:
"The 11th District Monthly Weighted Average Cost of Funds Index (COFI) is one of many indices used by mortgage lenders to adjust the interest rate on adjustable rate mortgages. The COFI is computed from the actual interest expenses reported for a given month by the Arizona, California, and Nevada savings institution members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (Bank) that satisfy the Bank's criteria for inclusion in the COFI (COFI Reporting Members).
In addition to the COFI, the Bank publishes semiannual weighted average cost of funds indices for California and the 11th District, which are based on the interest expenses of applicable COFI Reporting Members from January through June and July through December each year."
Web page snapshot for 7/14/17:
Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter Service:
  • Subscribe to my newsletter service NOW and get the July 2017 Issue for FREE!   Your 1 year, 12 issue subscription will start with next month's issue.
  • Get email alerts when I buy or sell securities for my explore portfolio
  • "Auto Buy" and "Auto Sell" levels set ahead of time for target buy and sell levels for my securities.  This allows you to place "limit orders" with your broker in advance so you can go about your business.
  • All questions about what I write answered by Email.  If what I write is not clear to you, just ask! 



Friday, May 26, 2017

Market Update - New Record Closing Highs

Market Update for Friday May 26, 2017
  • The four major US markets I follow are up between 1.9% and 15.4% YTD.
  • The S&P500 and Nasdaq markets set new record closing highs today!
  • My Explore Portfolio continues to do well in 2017 after a great 2016.  It finished the week at a new record high! (see graph below)
  • The New Rates for New and Old I-Bonds are out.
  • Click images to see full size
This charts shows the major markets YTD performance.  The Nasdaq at up 15.36% YTD is doing the best while the Russell 2000 small cap index is only up 1.85% YTD, but that still beats cash and CDs!   (See Best CD Rates
This chart shows the data in tabular form.  
If your own portfolios are not up somewhere between 1.85% and 15.36 YTD and you didn't get double digit gains last year, then you should consider what you are doing wrong and look to make changes, perhaps with the help of a subscription to my newsletter.


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These charts show the Nasdaq and S&P500:





Long Term Results that Speak for Themselves
Since 9/30/98 inception, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 758%
vs. the DJIA UP only 162%, S&P500 UP only 231% and NASDAQ UP only 267%
(All through 5/26/17)


Timer Digest Features Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter on its Cover
  • Subscribe to my service NOW and get the May 2017 Issue for FREE!  
    Your 1 year, 12 issue subscription will start with next month's issue.
  • Get email alerts when I buy or sell securities for my explore portfolio
  • "Auto Buy" and "Auto Sell" levels set ahead of time for target buy and sell levels for my securities.  This allows you to place "limit orders" with your broker in advance so you can go about your business.
  • All questions about what I write answered by Email.  If what I write is not clear to you, just ask! 



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Markets Near Record Highs, Open Gaps & 2400 Resistance Level

Market Update for Saturday May 13, 2017
  • The four major US markets I follow are up between 1.9% and 13.7% YTD.
  • The S&P500 and Nasdaq markets set new record closing highs this week.
  • The 2400 level continues to be strong resistance for the S&P500 while open gaps are cause for concern.
  • The New Rates for New and Old I-Bonds are out.
  • My Explore Portfolio continues to do well in 2017 after a great 2016.  It finished the week at a new record high!
  • Click images to see full size
This charts shows the major markets YTD performance.  The Nasdaq at up 13.7% YTD is doing the best while the Russell 2000 small cap index is only up 1.9% YTD, but that still beats cash and CDs!   (See Best CD Rates
This "Gap chart" shows open gaps in SPX, the S&P500, that can act as strong magnets for corrections.  Those magnets would lose some power if the market can push and close above 2400 with volume.
This longer term chart shows the S&P500 has had the smallest of the "healthy correction levels" (typically 3 to 8%) that I like to see before markets can surge to new highs. 
This long term chart of my "Explore Portfolio" performance shows it ended the week at a new record high.  I've taken profits in many stocks making record highs and used some of those profits to buy more shares of stocks that have significantly corrected even as the overall markets are at or near record highs.  To see how this works in a global sense, read my article: Make Money In A Flat Market With Asset Allocation & Market Volatility

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This chart shows the data in tabular form.  If your own portfolios are not up somewhere between 1.89% and 13.71 YTD and you didn't get double digit gains last year, then you should consider what you are doing wrong and look to make changes, perhaps with the help of a subscription to my newsletter
I cover I-bonds and a "better option for tax deferred money" in my newsletter but I also write many free articles such as this one: 

  • Attractive Rates for Conservative Savers.
  • Series I Bond Rates are 1.96% to 5.60% for the next six months.
  • New I Bonds issued for the next six months will earn 1.96%.
  • Unlike the BND ETF, Series I Bonds never lose money!
This is a very important article to read and understand:
If you would like help, then subscribe to my newsletter! 

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Friday, May 05, 2017

New Record Closing Highs For Nasdaq & S&P500

Today the Nasdaq and the S&P500 indexes closed at new record highs.

The S&P500 closed at a record high that broke the last record closing high set on March 1, 2017 at $2,395.96 when all four major indexes I follow closed at record highs.

All four indexes set record highs on March 1, 2017.  :
On an intraday basis, the S&P500 failed to surpass its record high of 2400.98 by a whisker:

Treasury bonds still have very low yields on an historical basis.  This chart shows US Treasury rates and the Federal Reserve's Fed Fund's Rate back to 1993.

My "Explore Portfolio" also closed at a new record high today!




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Monday, May 01, 2017

May Day Marks a Record High for the Nasdaq and My Explore Portfolio

New record highs were made today for the Nasdaq and my Explore Portfolio.

Most other markets are less than 1% from their record highs also.

Of course, I've been taking profits as my stocks make record highs and have bought back shares in a few that are "out of sync" and in correction mode as investors are chasing large cap Nasdaq names.


My hybrid 2CS model is suggesting caution soon.... Do you have your list of stocks to buy or add to when the market corrects?


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My Core and Explore Performance vs Warren Buffett's BRKA:



Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter Performance

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