Health care exchange traded funds were on the receiving end of some decent bumps higher Thursday after Dow component Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced it is acquiring Hospira (NYSE: HSP) for $17 billion.
Pfizer is the second-largest holding in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLV), the largest health care ETF, while Hospira is a smaller holding in the fund. Together, the two stocks entered Thursday with a combined weight of 8% in XLV. The $12.7 billion XLV tracks the S&P Health Care Select Sector Index.
That is the same index the the Direxion Daily Healthcare Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: CURE) attempts to deliver three times the daily returns of, so what is good for XLV is even better for CURE. And things have going quite well for CURE.
Although the usual caveat of leveraged ETFs not being buy and hold instruments certainly applies to CURE, the ETF’s one-year gain of 87% is hard to ignore. Due to the effects of daily rebalancing, some leveraged ETFs are famous for significantly lagging their underlying indexes and their non-leveraged equivalents. That has not been the case with CURE. Over the past year, XLV is up 25%, meaning CURE has actually better than triple the returns of its non-leveraged counterpart. [Anonymous Leveraged Health Care ETFs]