US equities closed off their intraday highs, but the Dow and S&P 500 still managed to finish in the green (just barely). The Nasdaq, however, couldn’t hold on and finished the day down 0.14%. One of the big culprits behind the weakness in the Nasdaq was the biotech sector, which was down sharply all day. The Nasdaq Biotech index fell more than 2.5% for its worst day since 5/11. While the sector has made a series of higher lows since February, the most recent rally leading up to last weekend’s ASCO conference looks to have run out of steam right at resistance corresponding to the 2015 lows and the peak of two failed rallies in January and April. It also corresponds to the downtrend from last year’s peak. Until these resistance levels can be taken out, the sector’s downtrend remains intact.
Today’s weakness in the sector was broad-based, as losers outnumbered winners by a margin of nearly 4-1 (146-41). However, there were definitely some stocks that were bigger losers than others. The table below lists the 18 stocks in the Nasdaq Biotech Index that have a weighting of 1% or more. Of those names, 14 were down on the day and just 4 were up. Of the dozen losers, the biggest decliners were Biogen (BIIB) and Alexion (ALXN), which were both down more than 10%. On the upside, Shire was the biggest winner, but it still couldn’t even manage a gain of 1%. Certainly a day to forget.