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Comparing IBB’s and XBI’s Small-Cap Stocks

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Sep. 10 2015, Updated 10:06 p.m. ET

IBB and XBI small-cap stocks

Measured by market cap, the top ten small-cap stocks of the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB) have a weight of 2.39%. The top ten small-cap stocks of the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) have a weight of 11.02%.

During the week of August 10–17, 2015, the XBI top ten small-cap stocks outperformed the IBB’s top ten small-cap stocks. XBI small caps returned 1.04% while IBB small caps rose by 0.07% during the same period. The graph below reflects the performance of IBB and XBI’s top ten small-cap stocks on a week-over-week basis.

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Esperion outperforms while Alder and Sage underperform

Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR) rose by 10.52% for the period August 10–17, 2015. The stock went up on the update on the Phase II clinical trials meeting with the FDA on its ETC-1002. According to the company’s press release, the FDA has confirmed that the drug is acceptable for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Also, it announced that the Phase III clinical trial is scheduled to begin at the end of 2015. ESPR has a weight of 1.39% in XBI.

Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR) fell by 8.2%, following the market trend. The stock has been falling after reporting a loss of $17.7 million for 2Q15. ALDR has a weight of 1.64% in XBI.

Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) fell by 6.38%. SAGE announced its 2Q15 results on August 12, 2015, reporting a net loss of $25 million for the quarter.

Giving exposure to large caps, IBB and XBI hold stocks such as Gilead Sciences (GILD), Amgen (AMGN), and Celgene (CELG).

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