Biotech Exposure Powers Pharma ETF to New Highs

Friday is shaping up to be just another day at the office for biotechnology exchange trade funds. For second consecutive day, biotech ETFs comprise nearly all of the ETFs making new all-time highs.

Today’s new all-time high club is comprised of four of the five major non-leveraged biotech ETFs, the ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology (NasdaqGM: BIB), thedouble-leveraged equivalent of the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGM: IBB), and two other health care-related ETFs. [Biotech ETFs Prescribe New Highs]

One of those other two ETFs is the PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals Portfolio (NYSEArca: PJP). Up about 0.8% today, PJP has not only hit a fresh all-time high, but the ETF is closing in on a weekly gain of nearly 6%. Not surprisingly, the ETF’s biotech exposure is proving rewarding.

While its name implies that is a pharmaceuticals ETF and it is, PJP is not limited to a prosaic lineup of blue chip pharma names such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). Those names and fellow Dow component Merck (NYSE: MRK) are top-10 holdings in PJP, combining for 14% of the ETF’s weight, but this is also a pharma ETF with an edge. [A Fab Pharma ETF]

That edge is a significant allocation to the biotech industry. Each of the biotech “big four” – Celgene (NasdaqGS: CELG), Amgen (NasdaqGS: AMGN), Gilead Sciences (NasdaqGS: GILD) and Biogen Idec (NasdaqGS: BIIB) – reside among PJP’s top-10 holdings. That quartet represents a combined 20% of the ETF’s weight.

PJP tracks the Dynamic Pharmaceutical Intellidex Index which evaluates companies for inclusion based on “price momentum, earnings momentum, quality, management action, and value,” according to PowerShares.