Amid a sharp decline in biotech, Evercore ISI's Mark Schoenebaum joined the "Haltime Report" to discuss his outlook for the sector, and whether or not we've hit bottom. The number one rated analyst in the space also gave his picks for which names are safe bets during the storm.
"True stock pickers will do better in this environment"
Schoenebaum attributes the recent sell-off to a tweet from Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton back in September:
Given how much drug pricing and the surrounding controversy has appeared in the press lately, Schoenebaum thinks the sector is one that "many investors have chosen to avoid until the elections are over."
As long as drug pricing remains front and center, Schoenebaum thinks it will be difficult to make a call on the sector as a whole. As a result, he thinks that this year "true stock pickers will probably do better than people who tend to buy baskets."
When looking at specific names in Biotech, Schoenebaum says to focus on finding "stocks that have a discreet catalyst that if it goes well, your upside outweighs your downside." In the space he currently likes Amgen and Biogen. Favorable data for a cholesterol-lowering medication should drive Amgen higher in the near future, while Biogen is expected to announce a new drug mid-year.
Trader disclosure: On February 8, 2016 the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Halftime Report" were owned by the "Halftime Report" traders:
Pete Najarian: Long AAPL, BAC, BKE, BMY, BP, DIS,DISCA, FOXA, GE, KMI, KO, MRK, PEP, PFE, he is long calls AA, AAL, BHP, BX,CHS, DAL, EEM, GDX, GE, HAIN, HBAN, LB, LC, MSFT, MTG, NRF, SLV, SWN, UAL, WEN,WMB, WYNN, YDKN, he is long puts DB, FCX, MRO, MS.
Jon Najarian: Long ABX, GDX, GDXJ. Long calls BWLD, HOG, JNJ, MCD, MDLZ, MSFT, NEM, NBR, OAS, RCL, STO, SWHC, TWX, WEN
Josh Brown: Long AAPL, BABA, DE, DNKN, JMBA, LOW, LNKD, SAM, SHAK, SPWR, TWTR, XLE, XON
Joe Terranova: Long VRTS