The Biotech ETF Rally No One is Talking About

Perhaps it is just the way the media operate, an unfortunate byproduct of people paying ample attention to negative news or both, but there is a rally going on in biotechnology stocks and exchange traded funds that is receiving scant attention.

From its March 4th peak to its April 11th nadir, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGM: IBB), the largest biotech ETF, fell 20%, pushing the fund into bear market territory. That time period encompasses nearly 30 trading days and almost every one of those days saw at least one negative biotech story hit the wires. And yes, some of those pieces were written here. [Investors Say Bye-Bye to Biotech ETFs]

The headlines ranged from talk of a record redemption in IBB, coincidentally just before the ETF bottomed, to discussion of a biotech-only bubble bursting. Yet, IBB and rival biotech ETFs are rebounding and receiving hardly attention for what has recently been an impressive run, indicating that died in wool biotech bears have been slow to change their minds even with price action dictating otherwise.

Including Monday’s action, IBB is up 10% in the past month. Since April 12th, the ETF has surged 15.5%. Said another way, IBB needs to rise just 4.5% from current levels to enter, gasp, another bull market.

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEArca: XBI), the second-largest biotech ETF is up 10.6% since April 12th and 11% over the past month, but wait. There’s more. Those figures do not include XBI’s Monday surge of almost 7%, the result of the ETF’s exposure Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NasdaqGS: IDIX), shares of which have more than tripled today after Dow component Merkck(NYSE: MRK) said it will acquire the company for $3.85 billion. [Why This Pair of Biotech ETFs is Surging]

Assuming XBI does not move much the rest of Monday, the equal weight ETF will need to gain just over 2% to enter its own new bull market.