Getting the pulse racing

While it remains to be seen what sort of bump the biotech market will get with this week's 17th Annual Hambrecht & Quist Healthcare Conference, biotech has jumped out in front of two of the broader market indices during January's early surge. The BioCentury 100 index is up 5 percent in the first week of 1999 and The Carson Group Smaller Cap group of 190 companies is up 8.8 percent ($3.6 billion) to $44.5 billion. The Carson Group's Large Cap group of 10 companies is up $100 million (less than1 percent) to $76.4 billion. By comparison, the NASDAQ Composite added 6.9 percent in the first week of the year; the Dow Jones Industrials are up 5 percent and the S&P 500 is up 3.7 percent. For those hoping for a rotation out of big pharma, the AMEX Pharmaceutical Index is up 0.5 percent year to date. The BioCentury London Index is up 3 percent.

Face-lift for BioCentury 100

BioCentury has completed its fourth version of the BioCentury 100 Price Level Indicator, a price-weighted index for tracking price trends in the sector. The index, periodically revised to reflect M&A, IPOs, and new technologies, now includes the top 100 biotech companies based on market capitalization as of Dec. 11, 1998.