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Infographic – Biotech Index Dives, Rebounds

NBI Jan-Apr 2020

Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, 2 Jan. through 9 Apr 2020. Click on image for full-size view (Nasdaq)

11 Apr. 2020. We check in from time to time on the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index as an indicator of the overall health of research-based businesses in the U.S. Since January 2020, biotech companies, and all businesses for that matter, encountered tumultuous conditions, and the NBI reflects that volatility, as seen in this weekend’s infographic.

Our last look at the NBI — an index of 209 biotech companies trading on the Nasdaq exchange — at the end of December 2019 showed the index rising steadily over the previous three months, closing at 3,851 points, a gain of nearly 27 percent for the year. Since opening on 2 January at 3,787, NBI remained relatively stable, fluctuating within a 300 point range, until 9 March.

In the next week, however, the NBI declined 22 percent to close on 16 March at 2,962, likely responding to the rapidly escalating number of Covid-19 cases and the haphazard response by the U.S. government to the crisis. From then until Thursday 9 April, the index climbed back to close at 3,579, a loss of 5.5 percent since the start of the year. Biotech companies are better positioned than most other industries, since they’re the developers of many vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

By comparison, the Nasdaq Composite Index, a broader collection of companies across many technology industries, fell by nearly 25 percent from 9,092 on 2 January to 6,861 on 23 March, then rose to 8,154 on 9 April, a loss of 10.3 percent since the year began. (Stock exchanges were closed on 10 April for Good Friday.)

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