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MarketWatch MarketPulseOct 30, 2020
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals to cut 79% of staff after disappointing trial data, stock suffering record plunge
Shares of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc. plunged 35.1% in midday trading Friday, putting them on track for their biggest-ever one-day drop, after the clinical stage biopharmaceutical company said it was slashing its workforce by 79% as part of a restructuring, following disappointing data from a trial of its pancreatic cancer treatment. The interim trial results of BPX-601 were "encouraging" in terms of safety and GoCAR-T cell activation, but clinically meaningful efficacy was not observed. "We have concluded that Bellicum must reduce spending on preclinical programs and shift its resources to enable achievement of meaningful milestones in the clinic," said Chief Executive Rick Fair. The company said it was cutting its staff to 14 employees from 68 by the end of 2020. Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Wangzhi Li followed by downgrading Bellicum to neutral from buy, writing in a note to clients that the interim trial results "raises questions on a key intended function of GoCART technology and significantly increases uncertainty on its outlook." The stock has tumbled 70.3% year to date, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has gained 8.1% and the S&P 500 has tacked on 1.0%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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Yahoo BusinessOct 30, 2020
Henry Kravis Says the Market Is Wilder Than at Any Time in His Career
(Bloomberg) -- Henry Kravis said there's more turmoil in the markets than any time in his half-century career as investors react to pandemic news."I've been investing for over 50 years, I don't remember a time when I've seen such volatility as we see today," Kravis, the co-founder of KKR & Co., said Friday on the Bloomberg Invest Talks webcast. "Just look at our markets in the U.S., we're up one day 300, 400 points and then the next day, for almost no reason, we're down 400 to 500 points."While he praised global stimulus efforts for keeping economies from collapse, he said markets remain unnerved by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially on the prospects for a vaccine. "Any news coming out of the pharmaceutical industry on progress with a therapeutic or with a vaccine is changing sympathy in the markets," he said.Stocks have been whipsawed this year, sinking into the fastest bear market on record in March before staging a rebound not seen in nine decades. The Cboe's volatility gauge has averaged 33 since the end of February, 14 points higher than the average over the prior 30 years.Wild swings were also a routine feature of the 2008 financial crisis. That year saw 42 days where the S&P 500 moved by more than 3%, compared with 28 days this year since the pandemic started roiling markets.In the midst of such turbulence, New York-based KKR has been among the most active dealmakers. It has invested more than $40 billion across various strategies this year."When we shut down our offices in

MarketWatch MarketPulseOct 30, 2020
Chevron swings to loss as coronavirus saps demand, oil prices fall
Chevron Corp. said Friday it had a net loss of $207 million, or 12 cents a share, in the third quarter, after posting income of $2.6 billion, or $1.36 a share, in the year-earlier period, hurt by low oil prices and weakened demand during the pandemic. The energy giant said it had adjusted per-share earnings of 11 cents, better than the FactSet consensus for a loss of 26 cents. Revenue came to $24.451 billion, down from $36.116 billion a year ago, and below the $25.837 billion FactSet consensus. "Third quarter results were down from a year ago, primarily due to lower commodity prices and margins resulting from the impact of COVID-19," said Chief Executive Michael K. Wirth in a statement. "The world's economy continues to operate below pre-pandemic levels, impacting demand for our products which are closely linked to economic activity." The company's U.S. upstream earnings fell to $116 million from $727 million. The company's average sales price per barrel of crude oil fell to $31 from $47 a year ago. U.S. downstream operations posted earnings of $141 million, down from $389 million a year ago. Shares were up 0.6% premarket but have fallen 43% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 [s:spx] has gained 2.5%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



Yahoo BusinessOct 30, 2020
Futures Drop on Tech Worry; Europe Stocks Waver: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) -- Fresh concerns about the outlook for technology giants fueled a decline U.S. equity-index futures on Friday. European shares fluctuated amid a string of mixed earnings reports.Nasdaq 100 contracts fell as much as 2.7% after Apple Inc.'s iPhone sales and Twitter Inc.'s user growth both missed estimates. Both stocks sank in premarket trading. The futures later pared the loss to about 1.2%. The scene was not entirely bleak, with Alphabet Inc. jumping after hours after reporting a rebound in digital advertising.In Europe, tech stocks also faltered as did Danish drug giant Novo Nordisk A/S, whose earnings underwhelmed analysts. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and NatWest Group Plc reported an improved picture for soured loans, fueling a rally in bank stocks. The dollar and Treasuries were steady, while European bonds slipped. Crude oil edged higher in New York.Weakness in technology shares is adding to volatility that's likely to remain elevated heading into next week's U.S. election. Global equities are on course for the worst weekly decline since March as lockdown measures in some countries and the lack of an agreement on U.S. stimulus dent sentiment. New U.S. coronavirus cases topped 89,000, setting a daily record."Our short-term risk-appetite indicator is firmly in negative territory," said Jean-Francois Paren, head of global markets research at Credit Agricole CIB, in a note to clients. "The adjustment of risky asset prices to the weaker epidemic and economic outlook could continue, which is

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Europe Markets: European stocks struggle and Dow futures slide over 300 points as Big Tech earnings, COVID-19 and election worries weigh (MarketWatch)

CNBC FinanceOct 30, 2020
Dow falls 250 points, S&P 500 slides more than 1% as Wall Street heads for worst week since March
Stocks fell, with Wall Street set to wrap up a difficult week as U.S. stimulus talks broke down, and coronavirus cases rose.
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