As the Coronavirus threatens more and more of the United States, both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree that getting money directly into the hands of Americans is critical. Doing that however, isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The IRS can hit a number of Americans right away, through their bank accounts. They would take the last 2 years of tax returns and use electronic bank information that they already have to send people their refunds. There are a large number of people who don’t file taxes. In that group are people who receive Social Security or Veterans Affairs benefits, but the government has that data as well.

Then there are Americans who neither make enough money to file taxes nor receive those other benefits — “the new working class,” as Chuck Marr, senior director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, put it. The people that are the easiest to miss, are also the most vulnerable. 

This money needs to go out, but it actually may not be as important as small business rescue which is also in the works. If Americans get checks, but lose their jobs because of business shutdowns, the money spent by the government will never be enough.  

Healthcare Stocks

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) 

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Alexion Pharma was actually behaving decently for a stock that is not directly involved in the race to prevent or treat COVID-19 and that’s a relief for ALXN investors. This dog has fallen 61.5% since the highs in July 2015.  Until Friday of last week, the stock had a 4-day rally going. 

The risk/reward now is appealing though, as the stock fell to it’s 200-month moving average and climbed off it. There’s also a lomg-term trendline dating all the way back to 2009 lending support at about $55.40. 

While the share price fell over 5 years, they actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 27% per year. So it doesn’t seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is priceing the stock, and growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

Some big names have been buying also. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its holdings by 68.0% during the 4th quarter last year, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This stock may be ready to recover. 

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Biogen is at at interesting level for longs, but the risk is big. They reported a 7% increase in 2019 revenue and a 4% increase in fourth-quarter revenue. Its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug, Tecfidera, posted 5% and 4% gains for the quarter and year, respectively. 

Another drug,  Tecfidera, which represents 39% of Biogen’s annual product revenue, recently won a patent challenge from Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL). That means Biogen won’t face generic competition until 2028 unless they lose a separate case involving Tecfidera which seems unlikely.

On the downside MS drugs have seen revenue slip — 14% for the quarter and 11% for the year. But Biogen boasts more than 25 investigational drug candidates, with five in phase 3 trials. All eyes are on Biogen’s Alzheimer’s candidate, aducanumab, which the company plans on submitting to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review early this year.

If investors are going to outperform going forward when this bear market ends, they have to be in individual stocks and along with technology, biotech should be a core choice and Biogen fits the bill. 

Food Safety 

A food delivery person in New York City on Tuesday.

With the coronavirus taking over every aspect of our lives, we are lucky that we are still able to enjoy the luxury of ordering in and enjoying meals from different restaurants. But keep in mind that we are putting someone else at risk every time we use a food delivery service app. We may be reducing our own potential exposure to the virus by not going out, but we are also encountering someone who has a much higher risk of contracting it. 

If ordering delivery is that important to you, here are a few things you should keep in mind. The drivers are risking their own health for you so be kind to them. Thank them. And for God’s sake, tip them!! $10-$15 minimum right now is appropriate and more if you feel they did a good job. They are thankful for all that they get. They aren’t getting a raise to do this job; they just haven’t been shut down yet. And contrary to popular belief, most of the fees you pay on apps like Caviar, Postmates and so on do not go to the driver. 

Be conscious of the fact that you are not the only person ordering from these companies, therefore you are not their main priority. If the delivery takes longer than expected be considerate. The delay is more than likely not your drivers’ fault, so don’t take your ‘hanger’ out on them. Say thank you, give them a generous tip, a friendly review and enjoy the food you didn’t have to leave the house for.  

Sex for COVID-19 Cure

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Russian porn star Lola Taylor — stuck in her apartment in Moscow — says she’ll have sex with the scientist who finds a cure for the COVID-19 virus. 

She announced her offer on Instagram, adding she will be arrested if she leaves her apartment. 

Responding to her post, one person wrote, “This is how to get young scientists motivated to invent a vaccination.” The search for the cure is clearly getting harder and harder, but this is a good way to lube up the system a bit. A treatment is surely coming, hopefully not too prematurely.