For XLV and rival healthcare ETFs, the good news is that the U.S. economy moving into the late-cycle phase, overall growth may slow and signs of an economic slowdown could pop up. Consequently, investors may also turn to defensive sectors that are less economically sensitive, such as health care.
Both Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton and GOP hopeful Donald Trump support the right for the government to negotiate Medicare drug costs. Additionally, Clinton has previously stated she would tackle “price gouging” from drugmakers if she is elected.
Related: Healthcare ETFs Ready to Rally
“But other catalysts could lend themselves to further turbulence for health care in particular, citing “key” health-care and biotech conferences, analyst meetings, earnings season and the presidential debates,” according to CNBC.
The overall pharmaceutical industry has also taken a greater interest in so-called orphan drugs due to their strong protection, which helps support reliable pricing power, especially as the industry faces questions over high pricing over primary care products.