Small-cap performances led IBB to rise marginally
The markets turned green on Monday, December 21, 2015, after a break of two days. Oil fell to its 11-year low, and Brent futures were trading at $36.35 per barrel. Market movements were driven by tech stocks and healthcare service provider stocks as 6 million people signed up for subsidized health insurance, commonly known as Obamacare. The S&P 500 rose 0.8%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% for the day.
Biotech stocks and ETFs had a good day on December 21 and rose marginally. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) rose 0.2% for the day. IBB closed at $332.13 and was trading marginally lower than the 100-day moving average of $335.33. It was trading above the 20-day moving average of 331.20.
Volumes were down, as expected, for the holiday season and might remain the same throughout the remainder of the year. IBB witnessed a trading volume of ~742,000 shares compared to the five-day average trading volume of ~2 million shares per day.
The above chart indicates the moving averages at various intervals for IBB, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), and the top and bottom performing stocks of the day.
Leaders and laggards
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (AEGR) and Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) were the top performers with returns of 15.5% and 14.15%, respectively. The Medicines Company (MDCO) was the worst performer with a return of -9.1%.
AEGR closed at $10.41 and rose 15.5% on December 21. However, the stock was still trading below its 100-day moving average. Year-to-date, AEGR has returned -50.3%. It recorded trading volumes of ~1.8 million shares traded for the day. The book value of AEGR is $5.01 per share. With its current price, the stock is trading at a price-to-book value (or PBV) of 2.08x.