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Book Profits on Health Care Stocks

Stocks in this article: XLV PFE JNJ ESRX AMGN

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I have been looking at economic sectors that are overvalued recently, and another sector where investors should take profits is health care.

At ValuEngine.com, we call this sector the medical sector and consider it to be 5.5% overvalued. Only three other sectors are more overvalued: Utilities by the largest amount, 13.4%, followed by consumer staples at 7.7% and finance at 6%.

Today, I will focus on the top 10 weighted stocks in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV), which contains 52 equity components and is my benchmark for the sector. On July 27, the XLV tested an all-time high of $38.90 after rallying 31.2% from its year-ago low of $29.64. XLV is up 79.8% since March 2009.

This strength should be difficult to sustain given the depleted new drug pipeline among the major pharmaceutical companies. The most notable prescription drug that recently came off patent is Pfizer's (PFE - Get Report) blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor. Now patients can use a Lipitor generic. Also, the companies involved with health care insurance must cope with the Affordable Care Act.

This week, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report) ended plans to develop an Alzheimer's drug after a second trial failure. This drug held the promise of being able to slow the progress of the disease, but the latest trial showed it failed to do so.

On a positive note, after the market close on Tuesday, Express Scripts (ESRX - Get Report) reported that, while its second-quarter earnings fell 49% on acquisition-related costs, it's adjusted earnings per share were 88 cents, above analyst estimates, and revenue more than doubled. In addition, the pharmacy-benefits manager raised earnings guidance for 2012. The stock surged to a new year-to-date high of $59.95 in after hours trading.



Source: Thomson Reuters

The weekly chart above shows that XLV has a positive but overbought pattern with XLV above its five-week modified moving average at $38.02 with overbought momentum (12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic) reading. The 200-week simple moving average is a major support at $31.11. My annual value levels are $36.71 and $34.12 with weekly, monthly and quarterly risky levels at $39.48, $40.06 and $40.84.

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