iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF(IBB)- NASDAQ
  • Thu, Sep. 22, 10:45 AM
    • Buoyed in large part by the FDA's approval of Sarepta Therapeutics' (SRPT +4.4%) Exondys 51 for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Allergan's (AGN +1.9%) over-the-top acquisition of NASH player Tobira Therapeutics (TBRA +0.6%), money flow has turned decidedly bullish for biotechs. On a technical basis, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB +0.6%) is poised for a breakout through 300, a healthy 25% turnaround from the low of ~240 in June.
    • There is a laundry list of leaders in the rally, including bluebird bio (BLUE -0.1%), Clovis Oncology (CLVS +5.4%), Puma Biotechnololgy (PBYI +3.8%), Aerie Pharmaceuticals (AERI -2.1%) and CoLucid Pharmaceuticals (CLCD -3.7%).
    | Thu, Sep. 22, 10:45 AM | 17 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 2, 1:19 PM
    • In a factsheet just published on Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's website, she outlines her plan to reign in rogue drug companies who aggressively increase the prices of their medicines.
    • Her plan features three methods for containing runaway drug costs: make alternatives available and increase competition; enable emergency importation of safe treatments and fine drug firms for unjustified price increases.
    • Her first action, as President, will be to create a dedicated group of representatives from Federal agencies that oversee health and safety and fair competition that will be charged with protecting consumers from "outlier" price increases. The group will establish criteria for determining if a price increase is justified for a long-available treatment and investigate and consider enforcement in certain situations.
    • In cases where the level of competition is light, her plan will enable the emergency purchases of alternative versions and make them available to patients in need while encouraging competition from additional suppliers.
    • She also calls for legislation to safely and securely import drugs from foreign nations whose regulatory regimes are as robust as the FDA, with the proviso of a "careful review" by the agency (more temporary than permanent).
    • In cases where miscreant drug firms are fined, the funds will be used to support new programs to make lower-cost alternatives available and speed up approvals in order to beef up competition (specifics are not provided).
    • In her broader plan to lower prescription drug costs for all Americans, she proposes a cap on out-of-pocket costs, additional funding to support the clearing of the FDA's backlog of generic drug applications, prohibit "pay for delay" deals (long overdue), a moratorium on direct-to-consumer advertising and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug and biologic prices.
    | Fri, Sep. 2, 1:19 PM | 454 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 3:08 PM
    • She's at it again. Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton takes a dim view of Mylan's (MYL -5.4%) bullish pricing for its EpiPen (epinephrine injection), an auto-injector used to treat allergic reactions in an emergency. The company has raised the price five-fold since 2007.
    • In a statement, she says, "Over the last several years Mylan Pharmaceuticals has increased the price of EpiPens by more than 400%. They're now charging up to $600 for a two-EpiPen set that must be replaced every 12 - 18 months. This both increases out-of-pocket costs for families and first responders and contributes to higher premiums for all Americans and their employers. This is outrageous - and it's just the latest troubling example of a company taking advantage of its customers. I believe our pharmaceutical and biotech industries can be an incredible source of American innovation, giving us revolutionary treatments for debilitating diseases. But it's wrong when drug companies put profits ahead of patients, raising pricing without justifying the value behind them. I am calling on Mylan to immediately reduce the price of EpiPens."
    • Her comments have stoked selling in the biotech/pharma sector, just like it did when Ms. Clinton had Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX -1.3%) in her sights a few months ago.
    • Previously: Mylan slumps on senator's inquiry into EpiPen price hikes (Aug. 23)
    • Representative tickers: (IBB -2.6%)(AMGN -1.8%)(VRX -1.3%)(BIIB -2.5%)(PFE -0.6%)(BMY -1.9%)(MRK -1.2%)(GILD -1%)(AGN -3%)
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 3:08 PM | 752 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 2, 2:46 PM
    • Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) has jumped 5.6% into a trading halt as chatter centers on a potential takeout from Allergan (NYSE:AGN) or Merck (NYSE:MRK).
    • IShares Nasdaq Biotech index (NASDAQ:IBB) jumped from the red to a 0.8% gain.
    • Biogen might not go for a deal, but the two suitors have tested the waters, the WSJ reports.
    • The company's worth more than $68B, setting up what could be the sector's next blockbuster deal.
    • Updated 2:51 p.m.: Back on the move, Biogen is now up 7.3%.
    | Tue, Aug. 2, 2:46 PM | 46 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 1, 11:35 AM
    • After struggling for gains earlier in the session, the S&P 500 has just ticked above the 2,177.09 level, hitting a record intraday high.
    • "I think the economic news [manufacturing data] was spot on. There's a little disappointment in construction spending, but it's tough for that kind of month-to-month data, since it factors in weather" and other elements, said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital.
    • The Dow Jones is 30 points higher, with Apple and Goldman Sachs contributing gains, while the Nasdaq is up by 0.7%, as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB +2.5%) trades near its highest level in more than six months.
    | Mon, Aug. 1, 11:35 AM | 47 Comments
  • Tue, Jun. 14, 7:36 AM
  • Fri, May 6, 11:32 AM
    • Ignoring the healthy number of product approvals, sexy technologies and encouraging growth prospects, biotech investors continue to head for the exits. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB -2%) has lost almost 13% of its value in less than two weeks. The main culprit appears to be concerns over drug pricing, in the crosshairs of Congress and stoked by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Until recently, led by the mess at Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX -9.7%), drug makers were driving sales and profits with aggressive price hikes.
    | Fri, May 6, 11:32 AM | 26 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 14, 3:58 AM
    | Thu, Apr. 14, 3:58 AM | 7 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 17, 3:08 PM
    • With the S&P 500 returning to more or less flat on the year, Bespoke digs down into sector performance and finds most of them nicely in the green, including the roughed-up energy group (NYSEARCA:XLE) with a 5.9% gain.
    • Leading on the upside, though, are the telecoms (NYSEARCA:XTL), ahead 14.4%, and utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU), up 13.3%. Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP), Materials (NYSEARCA:XLB), and Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI) are all up between 3.7% and 4.5%, while Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY) is flat.
    • Holding the S&P 500 back, then, is healthcare (NYSEARCA:XLV), with an 8.2% decline, and financials (NYSEARCA:XLF), down 5.5%. Within, healthcare, the biotechs (NASDAQ:IBB) have plunged 27%.
    | Thu, Mar. 17, 3:08 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 3:30 PM
    • As if biotech investors need reminding, biotechs (and healthcare stocks) are getting some rude treatment today, the market's foul mood notwithstanding. The Nasdaq Composite Index is down 2.5%,but the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI -4.7%) almost twice as much. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB -3.5%) is faring a bit better, but still down more than the broad market.
    • Only Biogen and Abbott have bucked the trend.
    • Sample of tickers: (AMGN -2.5%)(BIIB +5.7%)(CELG -3.9%)(GILD -3.3%)(ALXN -1.2%)(ABT +0.3%)(BMY -1.8%)(MRK -3%)(VRX -4%)(PFE -0.9%)
    • ETFs: BIB, BIS, CNCR
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 3:30 PM | 63 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 1:47 PM
    • It appears that biotech investors have had enough of the sidelines. Many tickers are showing bullish reversals.
    • Representative tickers: (RLYP +15.3%)(CELG +2.6%)(AMGN +0.2%)(BIIB -1.6%)(ALXN -0.6%)(VRTX +0.2%)(IBB +0.8%)(XBI +2.1%)
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 1:47 PM | 20 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 11:36 AM
    • To point out the obvious, the biotech sector has been unable to fight off the widespread selling. The iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index Fund (IBB -1.8%) is down again, albeit on modestly higher volume. It's down over 21% since late December.
    • Representative tickers: (GILD -1.7%)(CELG +0.7%)(BIIB -2.7%)(AMGN -0.6%)(ALXN -2.8%)
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 11:36 AM | 17 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 14, 10:57 AM
    • Biotechs are moving in sync with the market today. The iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index Fund (IBB +1.8%) is up ~4% from its low of 273.47, outpacing the Nasdaq Composite's 2.6% jump from its intraday low of 4,470.59. The IBB had lost over 20% of its value since late December.
    | Thu, Jan. 14, 10:57 AM | 2 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 7, 10:22 AM
    • Biotech's traditional role as a (relative) safe haven during market weakness ain't holding up lately. The iShares Nasdaq Biotech Index (IBB -2.6%) is down almost 3% today in early trading and down almost 10% since late December, a sharper drop than the Nasdaq composite's 7% plunge.
    • Investors should be careful here. There's more to come.
    | Thu, Jan. 7, 10:22 AM | 19 Comments
  • Oct. 26, 2015, 11:39 AM
    • It's been a "remarkable turn" in relative performance, says Deutsche Bank's David Bianco, noting health care was about 1K basis points ahead of the S&P 500 as recently as mid-August, but both are now about flat and neck-and-neck year-to-date.
      "We find this reversal unwarranted and think health care could surge into year-end," says Bianco, and if the move doesn't come in 2015, it'll surely happen next year. As for valuation, health care is selling for 14.7x 2016E EPS vs. the S&P 500 at 16x - this even as health care's expected 6% sales growth should easily trump that of nominal GDP and the S&P 500. Biano sees 6-9% EPS growth, also better than the S&P.
    • Focus on the big picture, says Bianco: "We believe growth in health care products will stay strong owing to an aging population and increasing efforts to treat conditions with drugs and maximize the productivity of scarce healthcare labor with as many tools and conveniences as conceivable." He likes S&P 500 biotech, pharma, devices, equipment, supplies, tech, and tools, but is cautious on managed care and other healthcare services and facilities.
    | Oct. 26, 2015, 11:39 AM | 15 Comments
  • Oct. 21, 2015, 1:22 PM
    • As if anyone following biotechs needs reminding, sellers are overwhelming the space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB -2.8%) is down 6% since Monday.
    • Key tickers: (BIB -6.5%)(BIS +6.3%)(VRX -38.5%)(AGN -5.9%)(BIIB -0.1%)(AMGN -1.7%)(GILD -1%)(CELG -2%)
    | Oct. 21, 2015, 1:22 PM | 66 Comments
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