The biotech sector was in the spotlight on Wall Street on Friday, and not in a good way. Biotechs have been stellar performers for more than a year, but some analysts now say they've become too expensive.
Gilead (GILD) fell 4½ percent after a House Committee asked it to justify the $84,000 per dose cost of its drug to treat hepatitis C. Biogen (BIIB) fell more than 8 percent. Amgen (AMGN), Regeneron (REGN) and Celgene (CELG) all fell more than 3 percent. Illumina (ILMN), Intercept (ICPT) and Vertex (VRTX) all lost more than 5 percent.
All of those movers helped lead markets lower. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) slipped 28 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 42 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 5 points. Still, all three major averages posted solid gains for the week.
3D printing companies, another once-hot sector, fell sharply for a third day in a row, following Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) announcement that it will enter the field. Exone (XONE) fell 8 percent, 3D Systems (DDD) fell 6 percent, and Stratasys (SSYS) lost 7 percent.
Two other losers of note: Symantec (SYMC), best known for its computer security programs, slid 13 percent. It fired its CEO after less than two years on the job.
And Zions Bancorp (ZION) fell 5 percent. It was the only one of the 30 major banks to fail the Fed's annual 'stress test.'
On the plus side:
- The women's apparel chain Ann (ANN) rose 13 percent after a private equity firm bought a big stake. It's now up about 40 percent year-over-year.
- Lin Media (LIN) gained 22 percent after agreeing to be acquired by Media General (MEG). That lifted Nexstar (NXTR) by 3 percent and Gray Television (GTN) by 4 percent.
- Unwired Planet (UPIP) soared 53 percent after selling a series of patents to Lenovo.
- And Endocyte (ECYT) nearly doubled in price. Its drug to treat ovarian cancer received conditional approval for sale in Europe.
What to Watch Monday:
- The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its national activity index for February at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
- Research-firm Markit releases its purchasing managers' manufacturing index for March at 9:45 a.m.
- Fast-food chain Sonic (SONC) reports quarterly financial results after U.S. markets close.