This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Drugs Feeling Poorly as Investors Finding Their Way Back to Techville

Defensive issues were under pressure today as money jumped back into riskier stocks.

The American Stock Exchange Pharmaceutical Index was down 2.2%, with just about every component moving to the downside.

Yesterday, IMS Health (RX) reported that sales of prescription drugs rose 15%, to $145.1 billion in 2000. Today, the stock has moved a little higher, gaining 0.7% to $26.84.

Pfizer (PFE) was the leader in annual U.S. sales, but today the stock was off 1.8% to $43.04. The company announced that it promoted Karen Katen, its current president of U.S. pharmaceuticals, to become the new president of its pharmaceuticals group and executive vice president of the entire company.

American Home Products (AHP) also shook up its leadership a bit, naming Robert Essner its chief executive. Essner will keep his current title of president. The stock was down 3.8% to $59.53.

Blue-chip drug stocks -- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Merck (MRK) -- were contributing the most drag to the Dow .

Still maintaining its rally was the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index, up 6.9%.

Yesterday, the sector was boosted on feelings that chipmakers had been battered enough, and that they had hit a bottom. They jumped, with help from bargain hunters who shrugged off negative research notes.

Chipmakers gains were also helpful to the stocks of companies that use them, including the Nasdaq Telecommunications Index, 2.9% higher, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index, up 6.2%.

And software stocks were flying along with most of tech. In the past few weeks, software stocks got smothered as their customers issued warning after warning. Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) was rising 3.4% to $59.44.

Veritas Software (VRTS), which makes data management software, was bouncing 11.2% to $66.50 in spite of having its price target cut to $110 from $175 by Prudential Securities.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs