Healthcare ETFs' Quarterly Checkup Looks Healthy | ETF Trends

Strong earnings results from healthcare giants are supporting a rally in the defensive sector-related exchange traded funds.

On Tuesday, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLV) gained 2.5%.

Industry heavyweights UnitedHealth Group ( and Johnson & Johnson ( revealed third-quarter results that topped analyst expectations on both the top and bottom line, and the companies raised their full-year profit guidance, the Wall Street Journal reports.

UNH jumped 4.1% and JNJ rose 1.4% on Tuesday. UNH makes up 7.1% of XLV’s underlying portfolio and JNJ makes up 10.2% of the healthcare ETF.

Other ETFs with large exposures to UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson also strengthened on the quarterly results. On Tuesday, the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (NYSEArca: IHF) advanced 2.9%, iShares Evolved U.S. Healthcare Staples ETF (Cboe: IEHS) gained 1.4% and iShares Evolved U.S. Innovative Healthcare (Cboe: IEIH) rose 1.0%.

UnitedHealth, the country’s largest publicly traded health insurer, reported revenue grew 12% and adjusted earnings expanded 28% year-over-year. Looking ahead, the company expects continued growth in key markets like Medicare Advantage health plans and OptumRx pharmacy benefit management business.