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Biogen and Gilead Helped Biotechnology Outperform End of August

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Top five biotechnology stocks outperform top five pharmaceutical stocks

Within the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) and going by market cap, the top five biotechnology stocks outperformed the top five pharmaceutical stocks. The top five stocks in the biotechnology subgroup are Gilead Sciences (GILD), Amgen (AMGN), Celgene (CELG), Biogen Idec (BIIB), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN). The average return of these stocks for August 25–31, 2015, was 3.98%.

The top five stocks from the pharmaceutical subgroup include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Pfizer (PFE), Merck & Co. (MRK), AbbVie (ABBV), and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). The average return of these stocks for the same period was 0.21%.

The above graph reflects the performance of the top five stocks of biotechnology and the top five stocks of the pharmaceutical subgroup based on market cap.

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Biogen and Gilead help biotechnology outperform

Biogen (BIIB) closed at $278.35 on August 24, 2015, as a result of the global sell-off. For August 25–31, 2015, the stock rebounded with 6.81% returns on good trading volumes and moved away from the oversold position. As of August 31, 2015, Biogen stock closed at $297.30 and was trading above the lower Bollinger price of $282. The stock has a weight of 3.28% in XLV’s portfolio.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) gained 4.39% after publishing results from its study of first-line treatment with Letairis and Tadalafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension. The trials were conducted in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). These drugs are expected to reduce the risk of clinical failure by 50% compared to the pooled Letairis and Tadalafil monotherapy arm.

Gilead stock has a weight of 6.02% in XLV’s portfolio. As of August 31, 2015, the stock closed at $105.07, but it continued to trade below 20-day, 50-day, and 100-day moving averages.

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