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Biotech crash drives Nasdaq futures

(Chart courtesy of optionsHOUSE )

Biotech is under pressure, driving activity in the Nasdaq futures.

NQZ5 (Dec '15) Nasdaq 100 futures traded 359,000 contracts yesterday, the most in a single session since they became available two years ago. In contrast, volumes were about average in the more-popular ESZ5 (Dec '15) S&P 500 futures.

Companies like Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals were among the biggest losers in the Nasdaq as investors continue to liquidate the sector. The main catalyst for the drop appears to be little more than exhaustion following years of upside, as well as a broader exodus out of health-care names.

NQZ5 slid 103.25 points yesterday to 4101.25, its lowest close since Aug. 25. Every point represents $20 in client accounts, so a trader who successfully shorted the entire move would have made $2,065. That's a gain of 47 percent versus the $4,400 initial margin requirement.

Other companies including Liberty Global, VimpelCom, and Wynn Resorts were other big Nasdaq decliners on Monday. Semiconductor names like Intel and Texas Instruments fared best.

For more information on futures, please visit The Futures Institute (Powered by CME).

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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