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5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: April 12

2. Haphazard Harvard

We may not be Ivy League material, but we're not so dumb that we don't recognize that something strange is going on at Harvard Bioscience (HBIO).

Sorry. Was that a double negative?

You see! Even writing about Harvard is making us self-conscious!

And they -- not us -- are the folks who wackily went from accelerating the IPO of its Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology (HART) unit last Tuesday to postponing it over "market conditions" this past Wednesday. Shares of the life sciences company sank 14% on the announcement to $4.78.

HART develops medical devices that are intended to grow organs outside of a body for transplant. Harvard Bioscience filed for the HART public offering in December, and in late March it said it expected the offering of 1.7 million shares to price at $10 to $12 each.

"HART will continue to pursue certain clinical development milestones, including a trachea transplant clinical trial plan agreement with the FDA, completion of surgeries with synthetic scaffolds manufactured by HART and completion of trachea transplant surgeries in the U.S. Harvard Bioscience will continue to explore alternatives related to its regenerative medicine device business, including the optimal timing and methodology of separating that business," said the company in a statement.

Once again, we may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, yet we still don't understand what happened in the past week that made the timing less than "optimal." If anything, the market environment could not be any more welcoming for the new issue.

The S&P 500 hit its highest level ever this week, broaching the 1585 mark. Meanwhile, biotech stocks as measured by the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ETF (IBB) are up over 2% in the past week and have risen almost 20% since the start of 2013.

Furthermore, the so-called "market conditions" seemed quite ripe for Taylor Morrison Home Corp. (TMHC) to pull the cord and sell 28.6 million shares to the public Wednesday, a full 20% more than previously planned. Taylor's underwriters priced it at $22 Tuesday night, the top of the range, and it finished 5% higher on Wednesday.

Seriously, if a homebuilder feels confident enough to take the plunge after the storm that hit that sector, then why would Harvard get cold feet when it's been nothing but blue skies for biotechs over the past decade?

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

You also don't need a Harvard degree to know when something funny is going on.
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