It's been a wild ride for the Healthcare sector in 2013. It's been a wild ride for most equities, really, but Healthcare has been among those experiencing the biggest gains. While the S&P 500 boasted a 28.55 percent gain through Christmas, the SPDR Health Care Select Sector Fund ($XLV) climbed 37.96 percent over that same period. And those gains were bigger for biotech, with the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF ($XBI) gaining 48.12 percent and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund ($IBB) up 64.33 percent.
And all this coming during the same year that the key portion of the biggest piece of healthcare legislation in a decade got to a creaky false start followed by a more robust restart. So, in case you missed it, here are some of Equities.com's best stories from 2013:
The entire healthcare industry is in a state of flux, and much of its future appears to be riding on the success or failure of President Barrack Obama's key piece of legislation: the Affordable Care Act. And for those of you scratching your heads, yes, that's Obamacare. The rollout of the exchanges was fumbled (the President's words, not mine), and the administration has backtracked on some of its requirements already, but the law really hinges on how many people are enrolled by the end of the open enrollment period in March. The law was explored as part of our six-part series What is Obamacare?
We also looked at what to expect in the event that the exchanges failed to enroll enough people and collapsed under their own weight. As well as the consequences of President Obama breaking his promise about being able to keep your plan, and there was an opinion piece criticizing the Obama Administration for caving to political pressure about that broken promise without a clear political benefit.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA)
This has proved to be a pretty wild year for Ariad Pharmaceuticals, with a big climb, a massive fall, a modest recovery, and then finally a big bounce on good news from the FDA. Back in mid-November, prior to the news from the EMA and FDA that helped shares recover a little more of what they lost (though, still not even close to all of it), we detailed the wild roller-coaster that Ariad was taking its shareholders on.
Biotech Stocks' Big Year
The massive rise of the biotech industry this year made a lot of money for a lot of people. We were watching the trend all year, and we noted who the big winners were. We also looked at how the big run helped turn biotech ETFs into some of the biggest gainers. It wasn't all puppies and roses, though. We dug into which healthcare stocks appeared to have issues that could haunt them.
Organovo (ONVO) and 3D Printing of Human Tissue?
One very exciting slice of the healthcare industry, small as it may be, was the work being done with the 3D printing of human tissue by Organovo. The company makes human tissue specifically for use in laboratories and clinical trials...for now. While the path remains unclear, the future could still contain a world where 3D printers could be used to create functional human organs, something that could have huge implications to the medical field.
DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer