Biotechnology Stocks Have Broken Out

Everyone’s attention is focused on today’s strong jobs report, but an under-the-radar sector is breaking out: biotechnology.

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ETF hit new 52-week highs before the rest of the Nasdaq. And it wasn’t just any old breakout. It was the first move above $130 since mid-2015: a historic push to important long-term levels.

IBB did something similar in early 2012, closing above its previous high from 2001. It then proceeded to run more than 300 percent before halting.

The daily chart has provided some confirmation of the uptrend continuing. After making a new 52-week high in April, it briefly tested below and snapped right back. Then in mid-June when the market had a brief crash, buyers defended IBB’s 50-day simple moving average ( SMA ).

And now in the last two weeks, IBB has broken above and held $133.60, the previous all-time high from five years ago. Has old resistance become new support?

Finally, it’s important to consider the macro backdrop: healthcare was already in a secular growth phase because of innovation and ageing populations. The prospect of coronavirus treatments is another positive. Then add a weak economic environment and low interest rates by the Federal Reserve . All of those conditions are supportive for a non-cyclical sector like biotechnology.


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