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Today in the Market (6/28/2022)

Good Evening. On Tuesday, US stocks were under pressure, with the Nasdaq losing about 3% as selling picked up, particularly for technology shares.

The S&P 500 was down 2.01% as of the close. The Nasdaq dropped 2.98% and the Dow dropped by  1.56%. More than 1.50% of the small-cap Russell 2000 was also down.

PHASE 2 TRIAL

Following a positive mid-stage data readout for its lupus nephritis candidate, zetomipzomib, the shares of clinical-stage biotech Kezar Life Sciences (KZR) stock surged by 43.43%! Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus are characterized by this potentially fatal autoimmune disorder by swelling of the kidneys.

The drug’s 65% overall renal response among patients who finished treatment. A 50% or greater decrease in the urine-protein-to-creatinine ratio at the end of the treatment at week 25 was reportedly the cutoff for the overall renal response in this small phase 2 trial.

However, Zetomipzomib must next enter a randomized phase 3 trial before Kezar can apply for regulatory approval. For this particular indication, pivotal-stage trials typically take two to three years to complete. So, if everything goes as planned, Kezar’s lupus nephritis candidate could be bought on the open market by 2025.

IS THE FED BEING TOO AGGRESSIVE?

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Federal Reserve policymakers pledged to continue raising interest rates quickly in order to lower the high inflation rate, but they also rejected growing concerns among investors and economists that significantly higher borrowing costs will precipitate a severe downturn.

Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Fed, stated in an interview on LinkedIn that many are concerned that the Fed might be acting too aggressively and possibly tip the economy into recession. “I am personally concerned that inflation would be a significant impediment and threat to the U.S. economy and continued expansion if left unchecked.” However, she claimed that the Fed is “tapping the brakes” by raising interest rates in order to reduce demand.

She added that she expected the economy to slow but continue growing, saying, “We are working toward that as quickly as we can, and hopefully Americans everywhere will start to see some relief in their pocketbooks.”

Although Daly wasn’t specifically questioned about the July meeting on Tuesday, she stated last week that she thought a further 75 basis-point rate hike would be justified. John Williams, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, added that he believes swift action is necessary to combat inflation.

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