Large Cap Biopharma Performance And Metrics Q3 2020; ETFs Are Winners

Update-1 NOV 23 DOW Up 1.12% led by Financials, energy, and industrials.

  • Healthcare continues to lag with XLV down 0.26% to $108.52.
  • Vaccine stocks still showing gains: BNTX, CVAC, MRNA, NVAX; race still on. Astra Zeneca/Oxford data shows mixed results.
  • Diagnostics lagging: CODX, HOLX, OSUR, QDEL.
  • Large-cap leaders: ABBV, ALXN, VRTX.
  • Energy soaring with XLE up 7%.


Large Cap Biopharma Performance -As of Q3 Earnings 2020

Quick Take: ETFs Were the Best Plays

Many of these stocks have lagged or declined since January 2018 and in 2020 saw highs in mid-summer. Regeneron has outperformed in 2020 and has bounced 242 points off its 2018 lows because of its deep R&D capabilities. Regeneron (REGN) ran up in 2020 because of its antibody cocktail to treat COVID-19 and recently received emergency approval. We recently picked  Merck (MRK) at $75 and Abbvie (ABBV) as a new buy in the high 80s range, now at $100.

We will provide new trading ideas from this large-cap biopharma group next week. Or just buy the IBB.

Surging coronavirus infections has even nicked the healthcare sector down 3% for the week. The breakthrough in COVID vaccines has pivoted trades toward small caps, materials, and energy so we’ll see if this trend continues through next week. Small-cap speculation in many biotechs and life science stocks is strong.

  • The best portfolio bet in 2020 for non-traders would have been the IBB up 15% YTD or even the Fidelity Biotechnology Fund (FBIOX) up 25%.
  •  For aggressive portfolios and as we have commented on many times the XBI up 32% YTD is the best trade but volatile on down NASDAQ days.
  • Laggards in 2020 are Biogen (BIIB) and Gilead Sciences (GILD) for good reasons.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is still assimilating the Celgene acquisition so another laggard.
  • AstraZeneca (AZN) is a favorite from analysts for EPS growth in 2021 and also has a COVID vaccine candidate.
  • And of course, the Nasdaq-100 (QQQ) ETF up 36% leads all popular ETFs in 2020
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Disclosure: Long ABBV, AZN, BMY, FBIOX, GILD, MRK, XBI


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