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Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX): Today's Featured Health Care Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, Quest Diagnostics fell $0.89 (-1.5%) to $58.91 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,284,816 shares of Quest Diagnostics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,225,200 shares. The stock ranged in price between $58.65-$59.72 after having opened the day at $59.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.80. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Senesco Technologies ( SNTI), down 11.6%, ImmuCell Corporation ( ICCC), down 10.8%, TG Therapeutics ( TGTX), down 10.3% and American Shared Hospital Services ( AMS), down 8.5%.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two businesses, Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. Quest Diagnostics has a market cap of $9.5 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Quest Diagnostics a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quest Diagnostics as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Transition Therapeutics ( TTHI), up 38.5%, Ocera Therapeutics ( OCRX), up 32.5%, Stereotaxis ( STXS), up 21.5% and Biosante Pharmaceuticals ( BPAX), up 9.3% , were all gainers within the health care sector with WellPoint ( WLP) being today's featured health care sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health care sector could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health care sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Health Care ( RXD).

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