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GenomeWeb Index Tanks to End 2018 as Broader Market Suffers Worst December Since 1931

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – As the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its worst December since the Great Depression and its worst year in a decade, the GenomeWeb Index ended 2018 in a crater, dropping more than 11 percent.

The index erased its 4 percent gain from November, and underperformed both the Dow and the Nasdaq, which lost 9 percent and 10 percent in December, respectively. It performed on par with the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which also lost 11 percent.

Stock performance in the December GenomeWeb Index was overwhelmingly negative as only one of the 28 stocks saw a gain and the remaining 27 saw losses.

The one winner in December was Veracyte, which saw a 3 percent increase in share price. The firm's stock has had a rollercoaster performance in the back half of the year — it was third on the list of bottom-three performers in November with an 18 percent loss in stock value, it led the winners in October with a 56 percent increase in share price, and it was September's biggest decliner with a 25 percent share drop.

The biggest losers in December were led by NeoGenomics Laboratories, which saw a 23 percent drop in share price. Luminex and Invitae completed the list of highest decliners at 21 percent each.

Veracyte may have seen some benefit early in the month when it announced that it had expanded the early-access program (EAP) for its Envisia Genomic Classifier for differentiating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis from other interstitial lung diseases. Veracyte launched the EAP in May to provide advanced access to the test in anticipation of a nationwide launch in 2019.

NeoGenomics' losses seem to be a consequence of the wider market woes as the company reported no negative news in December that could have triggered a sell-off. The decline in the firm's share price was steady throughout December, even after it reported that it had completed its acquisition of Genoptix.

Luminex and Invitae, likewise, did not report negative news in December. In fact, Oppenheimer initiated coverage of Invitae at Outperform, noting that the firm would likely benefit from several trends that are driving overall growth in the genetic testing sector.