Tale of the Tape
Happy Sunday! Are you ready for tomorrow morning? We know we are.
Indexes recovered most of their losses from last week in trading this past week. The Russell 2000 led the pack, rising 4.28%.
Over in the crypto world, things are not looking much brighter from last week. $BTC.X trades up just 0.6% over the last week. Hey, I guess that’s progress!
One of the first in-vivo CRISPR gene therapies showed promising results in a clinical study. Read on to hear what that means for medicine.
Even though earnings season is over, our few all-stars this week will be spicy. $WBA, $MU, and $JEF will report this week.
And last week’s changes:
In 2012, two scientists discovered a method for genome editing called CRISPR-Cas9. CRISPR gene editing is a natural tool which allows scientists to edit, delete, and generate new strands of DNA.
Last year, less than a decade after its discovery, the two scientists who discovered it were awarded a Nobel Prize — a sign of just how consequential it is. However, both scientists (and some others) have been bringing their gene revolution to markets for far longer.
This weekend, Doudna’s Intellia Therapeutics announced that it had used CRISPR to edit genes inside the body (in-vivo). The six-person study used CRISPR therapy to deactivate a mutated gene which causes liver cells to produce misfolded proteins. In the study, the higher-dose arm saw an 80-96% drop in levels of the misfolded protein.
Intellia is one of the market’s three leading “CRISPR” companies, alongside CRISPR Therapeutics and Editas Medicine. All three more than doubled last year, ballooned in-part by inflows from Cathie Wood’s ARK Genomic Revolution ETF.
The companies have already demonstrated use of CRISPR in limited trials for a large variety of causes: blood disorders, immuno-oncology, and rare genetic diseases. However, no CRISPR study has advanced beyond early-clinicals as of June 2021.
But all things considered, the quick succession between the discovery of CRISPR and the rush to implement it in medicines has meaningful ramifications. If CRISPR therapies continue to succeed in trials and eventually make it to patients, it could rank among one of the most consequential discoveries in human history.
The Binance Ban
Crypto exchange Binance is picking up more flack from leading economies, just weeks after the United States announced it would investigate the exchange. This time, it’s the U.K., and they’re banning Binance entirely.
So why are they being banned? If you guessed “concerns about involvement in money laundering and fraud” then you’re spot on. The U.K’s market regulator, the FCA, warned in early June that many businesses were not meeting money laundering regulations.
The ban comes amidst a broader contraction of the cryptocurrency space. It did not immediately affect the price of cryptos.
Binance can presumably appeal the ban once they become compliant with various regulations in the country. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, who regularly speaks to “FUD” in the crypto ecosystem, had not yet commented on the situation.
Infinite Money Glitch
Peter Thiel, one of the founders of Palantir Technologies and PayPal, might have the world’s fattest Roth IRA. That’s according to a ProPublica report published last week which says that Thiel’s Roth has over $5 billion in assets.
Roth IRAs are a genre of retirement account which allow Americans to invest money and pay taxes now for tax-free withdrawals in retirement. They’re a useful account which helps working-class people avoid a fat tax bill in retirement.
But the average Roth IRA has just $39,000 in it, according to ProPublica. How does Thiel’s have $5 billion?
Thiel, a prolific venture capitalist, opened a Roth and deposited the maximum he could for his income level. He then used the Roth to invest in early-stage startups. Then, he sat back as those startups grew.
If it feels like an infinite money glitch? It’s because it is. Thiel will have avoided a $5 billion tax bill on some of the most lucrative investments known to man. He can begin to make tax-free withdrawals on the account when he turns 60 in April 2027.
The Week Ahead
And now a brief and well-organized look ahead at the trading week beginning Monday, June 28th, 2021:
6/29 Consumer Confidence (10 AM ET)
6/30 Crude Oil Inventories (10:30 AM ET)
7/01 ISM Manufacturing Index (10 AM ET)
7/02 Nonfarm Payrolls (8:30 AM ET)
7/02 Unemployment Rate (8:30 AM ET)
Here’s the full Economic Calendar provided by Briefing.
Be sure to know when your stocks are reporting. Here’s the earnings calendar:
Links That Don’t Suck
📈 The S&P 500 Hasn’t Seen A Correction In Months. That’s Odd.
🏢 Microsoft Announced Windows 11: Here’s What’s different.
☀️ Quick, it’s Summer! Where can you fly right now?
💊 Eli Lilly Files Alzheimer’s Drug for Accelerated FDA Approval After Biogen Drug Approved