In 2016, the Health Care SPDR (NYSE: XLV) declined for the first time in eight years. The largest healthcare exchange-traded fund by assets and others suffered from the rhetorical thrashings of pharmaceutical prices during the presidential election.
Banter over high prices between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican president-elect Donald Trump are suspected to have influenced the decline in healthcare ETFs. On Jan. 4, 2016, XLV was valued at $70.73 per share: one year later, XLV is valued at $70.39- yielding a 0.48 percent decrease.
Trump continues to berate pharmaceutical companies and healthcare stocks continue to dip. On Wednesday, he said these companies are “getting away with murder” for medicine charges and promised to change this along with legislative healthcare.
As a result, XLV decreased 1.17 percent from Jan. 10 to Jan 12; iShares Nasdaq Biotech ETF (NASDAQ: IBB.O) dropped “4 percent at its session low and ended down 3 percent (its largest daily drop in three months),” according to Reuters; and the healthcare sector S&P 500 index stocks (.SPX) declined. In addition to criticizing pharmaceutical prices, Trump’s push to repeal and replace Obamacare has healthcare ETFs further on edge, with XLV and IBB drawing their “highest trading volume since Nov. 10,” Reuters said.