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Biotech ETF Rallies to All-Time High; Doubles S&P 500 Return


The last time we examined the Biotech sector was October 22 of last year, and related ETFs continue to march forward with the largest ETF in the category IBB (iShares NASDAQ Biotech, Expense Ratio 0.48%) surging this week to trade at new alltime highs this morning.

To put it in perspective, IBB’s performance this year alone has more than doubled that of the S&P 500, and it has clearly been a great quarter for broad market equities in general.

Led by the performance of stocks like REGN, GILD, AMGN, and CELG, which are the top holdings in IBB currently, the sector continues to impress.

Even previously stodgy large cap Bio name, AMGN, which seemingly spent years trading in a narrow range of $50$-60 just two or three years ago, is breaking out to new highs eclipsing $109 this morning.

IBB is the giant in the space in terms of assets under management, with $2.7 billion at the moment, but followed by alternatives in the category such as XBI (SPDR S&P Biotech, Expense Ratio 0.35%), FBT (First Trust AMEX Biotechnology, Expense Ratio 0.60%), BBH (Market Vectors Biotech, Expense Ratio 0.35%) and PBE (PowerShares Dynamic Biotechnology and Genome, Expense Ratio 0.60%).

Given the continued breakout price action in the sector, one will likely not be surprised that BIB (ProShares Ultra NASDAQ Biotechnology, Expense Ratio 0.95%) has also seen an increase in trading activity in recent sessions, as the fund provides levered two times daily exposure to the same index that IBB tracks.

Conversely, those whom are long the sector and looking to aggressively hedge in the short term if not take the other side of the recent rally can potentially look to BIS (ProShares UltraShort NASDAQ Biotechnology, Expense Ratio 0.95%).

Earnings releases are expected in the member components of these ETFs in the near term, with AMGN for example reporting on 4/23 and REGN on 4/25 to name a few, so it will be interesting to see in coming weeks if fundamental results are in line with the street’s expectations as the stocks are clearly pricing in positive quarters for these names.

iShares NASDAQ Biotech


For more information on Street One ETF research and ETF trade execution/liquidity services, contact Paul Weisbruch at pweisbruch@streetonefinancial.com.