Post-Election Enthusiasm for Biotech ETFs Wanes

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NasdaqGM: IBB), the largest biotech ETF by assets, and rival biotechnology exchange traded funds were boosted in November by Republican Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, enthusiasm for biotech ETFs has recently evaporated in significant fashion.

For example, IBB finished November with a gain of over 4%, but investors looking closer will see that the ETF is off 5% over the past week and now resides below its 20-, 50- and 200-day moving averages.

While Trump dispensed his own harsh rhetoric against high pharmaceuticals prices, he was usually seen as the preferred candidate for healthcare and biotech stocks and ETFs. Markets clearly are reflecting as much. Still, some technical analysts see biotech as still in fragile technical position.

Clinton “not being in the White House removes the notion of some sort of price controls off the table,” Tony Butler, an analyst at Guggenheim Securities, told Reuters. “From the perspective of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, generic (drug) stocks, (the election) went about as well as could be expected.”