Investors Should Take a Look at the Beaten Down Biotech ETFs

Biotechnology sector-related exchange traded funds are on a four-day streak and gaining momentum, breaking above their short-term trend lines.

On Friday, SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEArca: XBI) rose 2.9% while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB), the largest biotech-related ETF by assets, gained 1.8%. Both biotech-related ETFs also broke back above their short-term resistance at the 50-day simple moving average.

“If (repeat, IF) it can rally further, it should help the group see the kind of advance that has not seen in over seven months,” Matt Maley, chief strategist at Miller Tabak, told Bloomberg, recommending investors to watch the biotech sector into the second quarter even despite warning that a number of clinical trial pauses could add to regulatory concerns weighing on the sector.

With the broader biotech segment breaking above its 50-day moving average, Raymond James analyst Dane Leone pointed to three technical gauges that could further strengthen the rebound in biotech stocks ahead. Specifically, the extreme outperformance of large-caps compared to small-cap biotech stocks, sector crowding and valuations that have dipped below the long-term median are all indicators that the market could be ready to turn around, according to Leone.

The rebound follows “the most extreme period of stress in the modern history of biotech,” with only the global financial crisis even comparable, Leone told Bloomberg. “The risk-reward for the sector is highly skewed to the upside.”

Other analysts are also recommending investors to buy the dip, especially those that have taken the brunt of the selling. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s top strategist, Marko Kolanovic, argued for picking up risky assets in beaten-down sectors like biotech.

“Current share prices do not reflect the true value of many exceptional businesses that are driving a paradigm shift in the industry,” Julia Angeles, who co-manages $71 billion at Baillie Gifford, told Bloomberg. “We are moving to a world where drugs in the future will be more specific, biology becomes engineer-able, and where personalized medicine becomes a reality.”

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