It’s the one group of stocks the market has awarded a clean bill of health.
The S&P 500 health-care sector has been on a tear in recent months, on track for its best quarter in five years and surging to an all-time high on Friday. Names such as Eli Lilly, Biogen and Pfizer are among the biggest winners in the last three months, with double-digit gains.
According to one chart-minded analyst, Biogen is one name in the space set to continue rallying.
“There’s obviously been some really strong health-care stocks way up in the highs, a little too rich for my blood. A catch-up play is Biogen,” Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com, said Thursday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation” while examining a chart of the stock.
Gordon said Biogen, up 15 percent this year and 23 percent in the last three months, has repeatedly attempted to break above key resistance in the range from around $350 to $370 per share.
“If we can get a confirmed move above there, there’s no reason we can’t go back and retest the $480 high here. I would say, buy a stop in, put a stop-loss below if you’re trading this,” Gordon said, implying around 35 percent upside from levels seen on Friday.
In terms of options activity across the health-care sector, there’s remarkably little activity within single stocks, said Stacey Gilbert, head of derivative strategy at Susquehanna.
“The options side is so quiet, it’s almost eerie,” Gilbert said, adding that health-care stocks have seen a hefty $5 billion in total flows year to date, an amount she calls “substantial.”
However, the real tell of sentiment is what she’s seeing in terms of broader positioning in the S&P health care ETF (XLV).
“That has a much more protective tone. I think because of the outperformance, because of us all being very, very familiar with the political risk that comes into the health-care space with one tweet … and it’s not specifically President Donald Trump. There have been multiple tweets over the last couple of years that have certainly impacted the health-care stocks,” she said.
The XLV was trading higher on Friday, hitting an all-time high.