Biotech Rally Fizzles as Global Healthcare Issues Weigh…Update-1

Update-1 After Close 6/10/16 –Biotech Rally Fizzles in Broad Sell-Off

The market continued to sell off during the day with only a little bounce off the lows. The material and energy sectors got hit hard down 2.4 and 1.6% respectively but weakness was across the board. Healthcare stocks were off 1.3% and technology down 1.23%. Crude oil has been a major indicator on good days in the market and today was no exception with WTI crude down $3 to $49.07.

Biotech stocks closed near their lows with the IBB down 2.19% to $267.60.  Technical support for the IBB is at $260. Abbvie (ABBV) and GlycoMimetics (GLYC) were the only winners on my screen.The global economic picture should curb rallies in the near term even though equities paying dividends seem like  a good place to park money. Until we get though the economic uncertainty and negative sentiment caution is urged. We cannot look at ASCO news and clinical data from the past week and make market calls in this environment.

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Traders Sell on ASCO News-Less Hope for Consolidation of Gains

Macro Again to the Forefront

The strong biotech rally fizzled early this week as longer term healthcare issues weighed on investors. High expectations from breakthrough products for treatment of cancer and infectious diseases were tempered by the lingering long term concerns of drug pricing and healthcare reform.Who will pay for the explosion of new therapies and how do we measure economic value from patient outcomes? Some of these issues were tackled at the BIO 2016 International Conference in San Francisco and we will provide updates in future articles next week.

Despite a fair week overall with the S&P holding the flatline, technology stocks headed south today with biotech leading the way. As of mid-day trading the NASDAQ-100 Index Powershares (QQQ) trust is down 0.9% to 109.24 and barely in the green over one month. The large cap iShares NASDAQ biotech index (IBB) was hit on Monday and is now down 4.5% for the week to 269. The XBI is down 3% for the week to the $56 level. Biotech shares cannot rally with NASDAQ shares leading the way.

The red screen dominated today with few biotech winners. Within our core large cap portfolio both Abbvie (ABBV) at $60.61 and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) at $72.61 are holding up well. Technicals rule to assess consolidation of stock gains.

News from Biogen (BIIB) early this week spooked investors as their clinical stage Multiple Sclerosis therapy missed study goals.

Global Yields Hit Record Lows

Macro concerns also hit the market today with European shares hit hard over 2% and jitters in the global bond market caused by a slower growth outlook negative interest rates with a German Bund of 0.02% .

Gloom and doom still pervades the market with low global growth prospects, uncertainty surrounding BREXIT and Abenomics in Japan.

Update after the close: RISK IS OFF.

Disclosure: hedging gains at this point

IBB  iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF daily Stock Chart

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