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Time to Book Profits in Aetna, WellPoint, 6 Other Health Care Stocks

Health Net (HNT)HNT ($37.44, up 7.3% since March 20): On Wednesday, the company reported EPS at 39 cents, which missed analysts' estimates by 4 cents. The managed-care provider traded as low as $30.39 on April 17, just below its 200-day SMA at $31.62.

Despite the earnings miss, the company touted a significant increase in Medicare sign-ups, and with a brokerage upgrade, the stock took off in a moon shot trading as high as $38.63 on Thursday.

The weekly chart is positive with the five-week MMA at $34.04. Monthly and semiannual value levels are $34.69 and $33.13, respectively, with an annual pivot at $36.55 and semiannual risky level at $39.45. Investors following our March 21 post could have booked profits at $36.55 as the risky level shown.

Humana (HUM)HUM ($116.72, down 1.7% since March 20): On Wednesday, the company reported EPS at $2.35, which beat analysts' estimates by 41 cents. The provider of health care services networks traded as low as $103.89 on April 17, and as high as $119.86 on Wednesday on the better-than-expected earnings report.

The weekly chart is neutral with its five-week MMA at $110.11 with declining 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic. Monthly and semiannual value levels are $115.62 and $112.88, respectively.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report)UNH ($76.89, down 5.7% since March 20): On April 17, the company reported EPS at $1.10, which beat analysts' estimates by a penny. The health care provider and Dow component traded to an all-time intraday high at $83.32 on March 21, and traded as low as $73.61, holding its 200-day SMA at $73.90. The stock traded as high as $78.06 on Thursday.

The weekly chart shifts to negative given a weekly close below its five-week MMA at $76.87. Semiannual and quarterly value levels are $75.19 and $74.78, respectively, with a monthly pivot at $77.43 and semiannual risky level at $79.65.

WellCare Health Plans (WCG)WCG ($71.04, up 6.1% since March 20): On Tuesday, the company reported EPS at $1.13, which beat analysts' estimates by $1.09. The provider of managed care services for government-sponsored programs traded as low as $55.16 on Feb. 12, and traded around its 200-day SMA at $66.79 until popping to as high as $73.34 on Thursday.

The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $65.98. Semiannual and annual value levels are $64.56 and $57.19, respectively, a monthly pivot at $71.11 and semiannual risky level at $75.35.

WellPoint (WLP)WLP ($103.28, up 3.6% since March 20): On April 30, the company reported EPS at $2.30 which beat analysts' estimates by 18 cents. The health benefits company with affiliations with some Blue Cross and Blue Shield associations traded as low as $90.75 on April 17, and hit an all-time intraday high at $105 on Wednesday.

The weekly chart profile is positive with the five-week MMA at $97.14. Monthly and semiannual value levels are $99.57 and $84.41, respectively.

Your investment policy among these stocks depends on whether or not you are a buyer on weakness or a seller of strength. We advocate using a good-'til-cancelled limit order to buy weakness to a value level or to sell strength to a risky level.

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