Healthcare Sector

The healthcare sector fell on Thursday amid the sell-off in healthcare-related stocks. The S&P 500 healthcare sector fell 0.9% on March 16 and weighed on the market. The cuts proposed by Trump’s Administration dented the sentiment in the healthcare sector.

Why Did the Healthcare Sector Fall on March 16?

Biogen (BIIB), Illumina (ILMN), and Incyte (INCY) were the top losers in the healthcare sector. President Trump proposed to cut 20% or $5.8 billion of the budget for the National Institutes of Health. The industry was expecting a 3% increase in the $32 billion budget allocated for the National Institutes of Health. A proposal for a decrease in the budget dented the sentiment in the healthcare sector. The healthcare sector rose after the Fed announced the interest rate hike. However, it lost all of the gains on Thursday. The Health Care SPDR ETF (XLV) fell 0.97%.

Biogen fell amid downgrades

Biogen, a US multinational biotechnology company, fell 4.7% on March 16. The sentiment on the stock fell after Morgan Stanley and Leerink downgraded the stock. Morgan Stanley downgraded Biogen from “overweight” to “equal-weight” and decreased its price target from $369 to $305. Leerink downgraded Biogen from “outperform” to “market perform” and revised its price target from $305 to $300. On March 16, Biogen fell 4.7% to $278.96—the lowest close in a month.

Agilent Technologies announced a new chairman

Agilent Technologies (A), a US company that provides research for pharma and biotech industries, fell 2% on March 16. Agilent Technologies announced board changes on Thursday. According to the announcement, Koh Boon Hwee will replace James Cullen as the board’s new chairman. Koh Boon has been on Agilent Technologies’ board since 2003. After the replacement, James Cullen will serve as a director. Agilent Technologies also announced a quarterly dividend of $0.13 per share. Agilent Technologies closed the day at $53.05.

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