A plethora of healthcare exchange traded funds are outperforming the broader market this year. The more nuanced and focused healthcare ETFs are truly delivering for investors, including the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (NYSEArca: IHF).
Up 7.5% this year, IHF is one of an array of healthcare ETFs that have regularly been hitting all-time highs since the start of the year, fighting off concerns about the Supreme Court hearing challenges to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, this month. [Some Soaring Healthcare ETFs]
With health care mergers and acquisitions activity picking up, IHF could find itself in the spotlight even more. Last year, Morgan Stanley identified Express Scripts (NasdaqGS: ESRX), Cigna (NYSE: CI) and Aetna (NYSE: AET) as possible takeover targets. Those stocks combine for 22.5% of IHF’s weight. [Healthcare ETF Checkup]
It is worth noting that the health care providers segment saw the busiest pace of deal-making in the last three quarters of 2013 with 284 total transactions, according to Modern Healthcare.
Speaking of stocks driving IHF higher this year, there is UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH). The eighth-largest holding in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, UnitedHealth is one just four members of the blue-chip index that is up at least 10% this year. That is good news for IHF, an ETF that allocates nearly 15% of its weight to the stock.
“Notice how the uptrend was slowly moving along until the price broke above the resistance of $88.39 back in November. Since the first breakout the upward momentum has increased as evident by the trend’s sharper incline. The most recent breakout will likely result in increased attention and the increase in volume suggest that the uptrend is nowhere close to being over yet.,” writes Casey Murphy of Investopedia in regards to UnitedHealth.