Yellow ribbons arrive in April, pink ones come out in October. There’s World AIDS day and National Infant Immunization week; Multiple Sclerosis, Cervical Health, Glaucoma and Oral Cancer Awareness months. And that’s just to name a few.
From January to December, every month is now dedicated to raising awareness for a specific disease or condition—actually, several of them. After all, there are countless medical disorders … but only 12 months in the year. There’s bound to be some overlap.
Take September. It’s dedicated to raising awareness for childhood cancer, for example—as well as seven other unique types of cancer. It’s also National Cholesterol Education month, Healthy Aging month, Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month and more. There’s even a National School Backpack Awareness Day, intended to prevent back injury.
Here at Life Science Investing News, we started to wonder: what really is the impact of campaigns like these? Do they forward public awareness … and if so, is that growing interest reflected in the stock market?
“The volume of stock traded did increase significantly in September,” President and CEO Greg Cash told us, but noted that it’s difficult to determine how much of that movement can be attributed to the awareness campaign: “We announced the publication of two peer reviewed publications in September … which may have also had a positive effect.”
Indeed, this is the major difficulty with gauging how awareness months impact the market: there are so many other variables at play. And of course, campaigns compete with each other: every September, A-Fib Awareness month shares the spotlight with a number of other causes.
Nevertheless, these awareness campaigns can be seen as a kind of free advertising for companies developing therapies and treatments for the featured condition. And as investors know, advertising works. McDonald’s, for example, saw gains of 26.5 percent 11 months after launching their “I’m Loving It” campaign.
In the life science sector, external awareness campaigns might just be the equivalent of product ads and commercials. They draw attention to stats that may be of interest to investors.
Put simply, these awareness campaigns can signal market potential to savvy investors. When you hear that heart disease is the number one cause of death, for example, it can seem both charitable and wise to invest in cardiovascular health companies: here is a chance to forward innovative new therapies, ones that there will be major demand for in years to come.
And as a result, stock exchanges pay close attention to these national awareness months. Nate Hudson, a nine year old cancer survivor, opened the Toronto Stock Exchange on September 1, 2016, in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness month. The New York Stock Exchange asked Steven Osgood, a representative of the Alzheimer’s Association, to ring their closing bell in June—National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. And Inogen (NASDAQ:INGN), a medical technology company focused on respiratory therapies, rang Nasdaq’s closing bell last November, in honor of COPD Awareness month.
Clearly, the exchanges pay attention to these awareness campaigns … and that means investors should as well.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Chelsea Pratt, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: BioSig Technologies is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.