A nearly 6% rally in Aetna (NYSE: AET) on Thursday following upbeat earnings from the healthcare giant was a bright spot for exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking the sector.

iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers (NYSEArca: IHF) has a roughly 5% position in Aetna, which raised its 2011 profit outlook.

The earnings beat “was largely driven by better-than-expected commercial margins,” said analysts at Citadel Securities.

Aetna shares rallied more than 5% on Thursday.

The largest healthcare ETFs by assets include Health Care SPDR (NYSEArca: XLV), Vanguard Health Care ETF (NYSEArca: VHT) and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare (NYSEArca: IYH).

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