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Midday Movers: Biotech Bullishness Trumps Uncertainty Over ISM Numbers: StockTwits.com

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The major indices traded near flat by noon Monday as traders struggled with whether to trust manufacturing data from the Institute For Supply Management. But the StockTwits.com heat map showed sentiment on the biotech sector was solidly in the green.

The Institute of Supply Management corrected a report, released this morning, indicating that manufacturing growth had significantly slowed in May from the prior month. Instead, manufacturing growth actually accelerated.

ISM "glitch" CORRECTIONS ACTUAL PMI 56.0 New Orders 56.9 Production 61.0 emp 52.8 supplier deliveries 53.2 @BloombergRadio $MACRO $SPY ? Thomas Turner (@thomasturner) Jun. 2 at 11:25 AM

$SPY ISM what? Is this even truthful? So now they changed the program to make it look good? scammers ? Robert J Sullivan (@MTPennybags) Jun. 2 at 11:48 AM

ISM said that its manufacturing index climbed to 56.0 from April 54.9. That data topped economists' expectations for the index to hit 55.8, according to MarketWatch. At 10a.m., ISM said that its manufacturing index fell to 53.2. However, it later said that incorrect seasonal adjustments had been applied to the data, leading to a falsely lower result.

ISM's new data fell more in line with earlier numbers from MarkIt. The firm's purchasing managers index climbed to 56.4 in May from 55.4 in April.

Some investors said the manufacturing data never indicated as much about the economy as people hoped. They turned to biotech in hopes that companies' extensive trial results would prove more trustworthy than national manufacturing surveys.

A scan of StockTwits' heatmap showed that investors were bullish on several biotech names: Ariad Pharmaceuticals  (ARIA), MannKind  (MNKD), Omeros Corporation  (OMER), Pharmacyclics  (PCYC), and NPS Pharmaceuticals NPSP. Ariad and Pharmacyclics each released encouraging drug trial data in the past twenty-four hours. MannKind traded up on hopes that management would have good news to reveal at a conference later today about its inhaled insulin treatment Afrezza, which is pending FDA-approval. NPS Pharmaceuticals moved on a Financial Times report that Shire is considering making a $4 billion bid for the company. And Omeros Corporation rallied on news that the FDA had approved a drug for use during cataract surgery.

$OMER No need for fear now...An unlikely rejection would have been devastating...should outperform from here on... ? fayez haroun (@victor521) Jun. 2 at 12:01 PM

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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