Sector Strength in Materials, Weakness in Biotech

 |  Includes: BBH, IBB, IYM, PXJ, SMH
by: Nick Perry

Nick Perry (Schaeffer's Investment Research) submits: Last week we saw a widespread, but mostly muted rally, led by the Internet HOLDRS Trust (NYSE:HHH). This week we find a skew to the downside with biotech hardest hit:

click to enlarge
etf performance

Nearly two-thirds of my list showed a loss on the week with the Biotech HOLDRS (NYSEARCA:BBH) and iShares Nasdaq Biotech Fund (NASDAQ:IBB) the weakest.

Both the BBH and IBB were hurt this week by a plunge in Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN). Downgrades, following concerns about anemia drugs, pushed Amgen to a new annual low. The stock accounts for nearly 20 percent of the BBH weighting, while IBB counts AMGN as its most heavily weighted position near 12 percent.

Also weak were ETFs related to precious metals, clean energy, and housing. A look to the upper half of the graph shows that select technology related funds, oil services and materials were strong. The Telecom HOLDRS (NYSEARCA:TTH), a group we discussed last week, wasn't the strongest ETF, but it did manage to buck the overall malaise and continue the constructive price action I noted. The iShares DJ U.S. Basic Materials (NYSEARCA:IYM) tops the list as the fund sits near its all-time high.

Index performance this week:
index performance

Index performance YTD:
index performance
Charts: Google Finance