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Juno Therapeutics, Kite Pharma, & Petrobras Among the Morning’s Trending Stocks

Crude futures are 1% lower today after yesterday’s disappointing API inventory data. Bullish traders hope today’s EIA data will again contradict the API however, letting the market’s good times roll on for a fourth-straight day.

Among the stocks trending this Wednesday morning are Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO), Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE), ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN), Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras (ADR) (NYSE:PBR), and AngioDynamics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANGO). Let’s take a closer look at why these stocks are making headlines and see how elite funds are playing each stock.

Our research has shown that the best strategy is to follow hedge funds into their small-cap picks. This approach can allow monthly returns of nearly 95 basis points above the market, as we determined through extensive backtests covering the period between 1999 and 2012 (see the details here).

Juno Rises on Study Resumption

Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO) shares have surged by 27% in pre-market trading after the FDA removed a clinical hold on the company’s Phase II clinical trial of JCAR015 in adult patients with refractory or relapsed B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The Phase 2 clinical trial was previously put on hold due to the death of two patients who used both cyclophosphamide and fludarabine. Going forward, the patients in the trial will use only cyclophosphamide, the CAR-T treatment, and not the chemotherapy preconditioning drug fludarabine. Of the 766 active funds that we track, 14 funds owned $32.27 million of Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:JUNO)’s shares on March 31, which accounted for a mere 0.80% of the float.

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Kite Pharma Rides Juno’s Coattails

Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) is up by around 9% today due to Juno’s surge. As previously mentioned, Juno Therapeutics shares are up by 27% today due to the FDA allowing a previously ‘on hold’ Phase II clinical trial to continue. The trial is assessing the safety and efficacy of a potential treatment for refractory or relapsed B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Both companies are trying to bring chimeric antigen receptor T cell (or CAR-T) therapies to the market. Kite Pharma announced that it would go ahead with a phase II study under the same conditions as Juno’s, on the same day that the deaths in Juno’s study were announced, timing that was considered ill-advised. 23 funds in our system owned shares of Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) at the end of March, down by four funds from the end of the prior quarter.

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On the next page we’ll examine why ADTRAN Inc, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras, and AngioDynamics, Inc. are making pre-market moves.

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