The stock market exhibited two of its more perverse behaviors in a week that itself could only be considered perverse, as investors ignored virtually all good news, while a boatload of companies announced stock buybacks. The first situation will right itself; the second is a waste of scarce cash in all but a few cases.

Thus, as the industry moves into the post-Sept. 11 world, it's not too early to remind that some First Principles remain unassailable in any scenario short of the apocalypse.

Really bad timing

Unfortunately for biotech, the last two weeks have had more than their fair share of positive corporate news. Yet the industry was hit particularly hard last week, even by comparison to the downdraft in all the major equity indices.