ETF Spotlight on First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology (NYSEArca: FBT), part of a weekly series.

Assets: $77 million

Objective: Tracks the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index, which is an equal-weighted index designed to measure the performance of companies in the biotech industry.

Holdings: Tom holdings include Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB), Celera (NASDAQ: CRA), Cephalon (NASDAQ: CEPH) and Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ: HGSI)

What You Should Know

  • Companies in the fund are involved in things like recombinant DNA technology, molecular biology, genetic engineering and genomics
  • The index is rebalanced quarterly
  • The expense ratio is 0.60%
  • FBT is up 32.8% in the last six months, making it the top-performing biotech fund

The Latest News

  • Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is going to buy Facet Biotech Corp. (NASDAQ: FACT) for $450 million. Abbott’s bid bested a failed bid from Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB). The move would add immunology and oncology to Abbott’s repertoire. These deals signal more than just the health of aspects of the biotech sector; it’s a sign of renewed confidence in the economic recovery. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more deals in this and other sectors take place in the coming months.
  • Biotech companies, investors, providers and big pharmaceutical giants are bullish on personalized medicine and have readily entered the field, writes Rebecca Vesely for Modern Healthcare.
  • According to the recently released MoneyTree report based on data from Thomson Reuters, biotech investments only dropped 19% in 2009, but the sector was still the largest investment sector for the year with $3.5 billion going into 406 deals.
  • Picking the best companies out of many is a challenge in any sector, but it’s especially true of biotech. Many of the 160-or-so biotech companies are still awaiting profits while others are just upstarts with scant funding.

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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.