H1N1 Pandemic Is Over, Leaves Stocks to Remember (NVS, SNY, GSK, HEB, APT, NVAX, SVA)
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic is over on Tuesday. The virus “has largely run its course,” explained WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, according to Reuters, confirming what most have likely suspected since media hype subsided last fall.
A year ago, speculative vaccine-making small-caps, antiviral biotechs, and respirator face-mask producers were all in focus on Wall Street as the world braced for what many believed could be an enormously deadly wave of the severe flu virus. Eventually, pharmaceutical giants like Novartis AG (NVS), Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) all got in on the action as well. However, when it became apparent that the worst-case scenario wasn’t coming to fruition, H1N1 pure-plays sold off sharply in the equity markets.
A look at the Swine Flu and Bird Flu Stocks Index’s performance chart shows how dramatic the sector’s rise and fall was between the summers of 2009 and 2010. Speculative micro-cap Hemispherx Biopharma (HEB), respirator play Alpha Pro Tech (APT), VLP-oriented vaccine maker Novavax (NVAX), and Chinese vaccine play Sinovac Biotech (SVA) are all more than -60% from their hype-inflated 52-week highs, and diversified large-caps are the Index’s top performers over the last year.
While the H1N1 pandemic is in the books, investors should keep an eye on the Swine Flu and Bird Flu Stocks Index in the event of future viral outbreaks. While specialties vary, a number of the most volatile swine-flu small-caps also went on a run during the H5N1 avian flu scare, as well as during the SARS outbreak over the last decade.
There’s no telling when the next viral outbreak will garner enough media attention to put the public on edge, but when it does, speculative traders will likely look to Swine Flu and Bird Flu Stocks Index components to find profits amid the hype. Investors can track the Index for performance trends and a suite of other metrics at tickerspy.com.
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