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Health Care Select Sect SPDR ETF (XLV)

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  • Apr. 17, 2014, 8:04 AM
    • In a novel cancer study funded with $42M by Cancer Research UK, scientists will test up to 14 different cancer drugs at the same time within one clinical trial. The objective is to identify the most effective treatments for advanced lung cancer by targeting specific rare genetic mutations.
    • The new approach will select a range of drugs for a specific patient instead of designing a study around a specific drug. In a profound change it eliminates randomization, the hallmark of clinical trial design.
    • Some mutations occur on only 1% - 2% of patients so the traditional method of clinical trial design is too expensive, time-consuming and inefficient.
    • AstraZeneca (AZN) will supply up to twelve experimental drugs that will be given to patients who do not show one of twenty-one sets of genetic abnormalities.
    • Pfizer (PFE) will supply its lung cancer drug Xalkori plus the experimental breast cancer drug palbociclib.
    • About 15-20 patients will be involved in the trial. Those drugs that show no benefit will be quickly dropped while those showing efficacy will be fast-tracked into larger-scale testing.
    • Healthcare ETFs: IYH, IBB, XLV, XBI, BIB, VHT, PJP, BBH, FBT, PBE, XPH, CURE, FXH, IHE, RXL, PPH, BIS, FHLC, PSCH, RYH, PTH, DRGS, RXD
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 17, 2014, 7:27 AM
    • In a breakthrough in fertilization research, scientists identify the surface proteins that enable a sperm cell and egg cell to fuse together to form an embryo.
    • Juno is the name given to the egg's protein and Izumo the sperm's.
    • Researchers are now screening infertile women to determine if the absence of Juno is the problem. Twenty percent of infertility cases are of unknown origin.
    • If the absence of Juno is, indeed, the cause of infertility then a simple diagnostic test can be developed to identify affected women.
    • A woman's Juno status will also guide fertility treatment by allowing in vitro fertilization specialists to proceed directly to intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
    • Researches identified Izumo in 2005 but couldn't identify Juno until recently.
    • Healthcare ETFs: IYH, XLV, VHT, CURE, FXH, RXL, IRY, IXJ, FHLC, PSCH, RYH, PTH, RXD
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 16, 2014, 11:54 AM
    • The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act is on the November ballot in California. If voters approve the measure the state will institute random drug tests on physicians with hospital privileges and testing after an adverse event such as a preventable death.
    • A USA Today report finds that over 100K doctors abuse prescription drugs every year yet few are ever caught despite the risk to patients.
    • The California Medical Board estimates that 18% of physicians will have a substance abuse problem at some point in their careers and 1% - 2% abuse drugs and/or alcohol at any given time.
    • In 2008 the state scrubbed a failed substance abuse treatment program because it did not have a mechanism to detect doctors who continued to take drugs nor did it provide for disclosure to patients.
    • Healthcare ETFs: IYH, XLV, VHT, CURE, FXH, RXL, IHF, FHLC, XHS, PSCH, RYH, PTH, RXD
    | Comment!
  • Apr. 16, 2014, 7:14 AM
    • Researchers in Boston find that casual pot use (one - seven joints a week) changes the size, shape and density of the nucleus accumbens and the nucleus amygdala, regions of the brain that regulate emotion and motivation.
    • More study is needed to determine the specific effects of the changes which appear different than the effects of consuming alcohol.
    • The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy partially funded the work.
    • Healthcare ETFs: IYH, XLV, VHT, CURE, FXH, RXL, IRY, IXJ, FHLC, PSCH, RYH, PTH, RXD
    | 5 Comments
  • Apr. 11, 2014, 12:13 PM
    • The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) takes exception to the way the EPA solicits volunteers for its air pollution experiments over the past 10 years. They assert that the agency fails to adequately inform sufferers of asthma, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and other maladies that the concentrated diesel exhaust and other pollutants they breathe in the experiments could cause them harm. Allegedly, agency researchers watch for serious events in the volunteers such as asthma attacks and heart attacks as part of their assessments of the deleterious effects of said pollutants.
    • The EPA calculates the risk of such events when exposed to much lower concentrations of the pollutants, multiplies the result by the U.S. population and then claims to save millions of lives.
    • The physicians group and some lawmakers accuse the EPA of spinning volunteers' participation as "making the world a better and healthier place" instead of fully informing them of the risks. They cite a 2011 Congressional hearing where EPA representative Lisa Jackson stated that inhaling particulate matter causes premature death.
    • ETFs: IYH, XLV, VHT, CURE, FXH, RXL, FHLC, PSCH, RYH, PTH, RXD
    | 12 Comments
  • Apr. 11, 2014, 4:01 AM
    • The White House has confirmed that Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning and will be replaced by Sylvia Burwell, the director of the Office of Management & Budget, assuming the latter is confirmed by the Senate.
    • Sebelius' departure comes after she said in October that she should be held "accountable for the debacle" of the launch of Obamacare, although the program did reach the government's target of 7M sign-ups by the end of March. She said yesterday that at least 7.5M people have enrolled.
    • One of Burwell's first challenges will be to work with health insurers as they set prices for Obamacare plans in 2015, which industry executives have warned could rise sharply.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MO
    • Hospital operators: HCA, CYH, THC, UHS, HMA, LPNT
    • Pharmacies: WAG, CVS, BIOS, RAD, MHS, PMC, OCR
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 24 Comments
  • Apr. 9, 2014, 7:47 AM
    • People who bought Obamacare coverage early were more likely to receive treatments for pain, depression and HIV, a study by Express Scripts (ESRX) shows.
    • The data indicates that the early enrollees have more serious health problems and are older than people with employee plans.
    • However, the report doesn't cover those who signed up later, who tended to be younger and presumably healthier, according to anecdotal evidence.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MO
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 11 Comments
  • Apr. 4, 2014, 1:12 PM
    | 6 Comments
  • Apr. 2, 2014, 3:16 AM
    • The government has met its goal for signing up 7M people for Obamacare by the end of March, with at least 7.1M people enrolling despite the technical chaos that accompanied the launch of the policy last year and then on Monday.
    • The number could rise further, as people finish the process even though the latest deadline has passed, and it doesn't include complete final-day figures from state exchanges.
    • Critics of the Affordable Care Act say key information is missing, such as how many people have paid premiums, how many already had insurance, and which plans have been bought.
    • Health insurers fear that they will have to sharply raise premiums for 2015 and beyond, as they haven't signed up enough young and healthy people who are less likely to need care.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 4 Comments
  • Apr. 1, 2014, 8:57 AM
    • The government's HealthCare.gov received over 4.8M visitors yesterday while the telephone center took 2M calls as people rushed to sign up for Obamacare health coverage ahead of last night's deadline.
    • However, the enrollment process was again mired in chaos, as the Web site went down at least twice and was out for several hours.
    • Those who started the enrollment process but didn't complete it will be allowed to do so, providing more uncertainty for health insurers.
    • With 6M people having bought coverage by last week, the government could reach its target of signing up 7M people by around this point in the process.
    • However, an estimated 45M Americans still remain uncovered.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 12 Comments
  • Mar. 31, 2014, 2:24 AM
    • Two million people visited the government's HealthCare.gov Web site ahead of tonight's deadline to sign up for Obamacare coverage for 2015. Those who don't could face penalties of up to 1% of their annual income.
    • Around 6M had enrolled as of March 27 - although not necessarily paid - meaning that the White House could reach its original goal of signing up 7M to Obamacare by the end of today.
    • Last week, the government extended the deadline, saying it would enroll anybody who began the process before witching hour tonight.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 2 Comments
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 8:14 AM
    • A number of states that operate health-insurance exchanges could allow consumers to buy coverage for 2014 after next Monday's deadline.
    • Part of the reason is that some states are sill suffering technical problems, including Nevada and Oregon.
    • The new extensions would follow the massive delays and technical problems that hit the launch of Obamacare late last year.
    • The federal government hasn't yet said whether those purchasing plans on its Web site will receive more time.
    • Consumers who don't buy coverage for next year face fines of $95 or 1% of their incomes.
    • Meanwhile, insurers around the country are on a drive to sign people up.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 25, 2014, 3:15 AM
    • The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington is set to hear arguments today that Obamacare subsidies in the 36 states that haven't set up their own exchanges are illegal.
    • Plaintiff arguments hinge on the meaning of a directive that subsidies should go to income-qualified people enrolled in exchanges "established by the state."
    • So far judges have ruled that the federal government can provide subsidies to exchanges not created by individual states.
    • Still, if the government loses, says Ron Pollack of advocacy group Families USA, "the effort to expand insurance coverage in the vast majority of the states would pretty much be halted."
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 1 Comment
  • Mar. 21, 2014, 1:51 PM
    • Health Care Select Sect SPDR ETF (XLV) announces quarterly distribution of $0.2047.
    • 30-day SEC yield of 1.41% (as of 03/19/2014).
    • For shareholders of record Mar 25; Payable Mar 31; Ex-div date Mar 21.
    | Comment!
  • Mar. 12, 2014, 9:17 AM
    • The government last week "quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty," the WSJ discovers after being alerted to a change buried deep in a technical bulletin.
    • Americans whose coverage was cancelled because of Obamacare are allowed to "opt out of the (individual) mandate altogether" until 2016 under certain conditions that seem to be fairly lax. That opt out was only supposed to last a year.
    • However, these people would have to enroll in catastrophic coverage, which was initially designed for the under-30s and "the truly down and out."
    • Meanwhile, 940,000 people signed up for Obamacare plans in February, bringing the total to 4.2M.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 10 Comments
  • Mar. 11, 2014, 7:49 AM
    • The White House has dropped a proposal to permit insurers to limit Medicare coverage for certain types of pharmaceuticals, including drugs for depression and schizophrenia.
    • Medicare argued that the measure would have saved money, but the Administration ran into trouble with patients, drug firms and members of Congress from both parties.
    • Health insurers: AET, HNT, HUM, UNH, WLP, MOH.
    • ETFs: XLV, XHE, VHT, FXH, IHF, IHI, IYH, PTH, RYH, PSCH, RXL, RXD, XHS
    | 1 Comment
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XLV Description
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Health Care Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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Sector: Healthcare
Country: United States
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