After a strong third quarter in which they led the market, Healthcare stocks did not escape the carnage of the broader market in the fourth quarter of 2018, suffering significant drawdowns. Declines were seen in all areas of the sector. Likely due to their defensive nature, the European pharmaceutical stocks held up quite well, which helped the Saratoga Advantage Trust Health & Biotechnology Portfolio on a relative basis. The managed care companies (healthcare insurance providers) continue to perform relatively well. One major theme that continued during the quarter due to mergers and acquisitions activity is the blurring of lines between health insurance and pharmacy benefit management.
During the quarter, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.We believe the Texas ruling is likely to end up in the Supreme Court – again – and while we expect the Affordable Care Act to remain in place, there could be volatility in the sector driven by such activity.
Information contained herein was obtained from recognized statistical services and other sources believed to be reliable and we therefore cannot make any representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Any statements not of a factual nature constitute opinions which are subject to change without notice.
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