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BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- No doubt about it, the health care sector has been the most "interesting" place to invest so far in 2015. Between volatile biotech stocks and staid blue chips, there's really been something for everyone in the sector. And the performance has been outstanding too.

Since the calendar flipped to January, the broad iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare ETF (IYH) - Get iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF Report has climbed 7% higher. That's 2.5 times better than the rest of the S&P 500 index has fared year-to-date. And health care continues to look like the sector to play as we head into March. There are plenty of names showing traders breakout setups now.

To take full advantage today, we're turning to the charts for a technical look at five of the best ones.

For the unfamiliar, technical analysis is a way for investors to quantify qualitative factors, such as investor psychology, based on a stock's price action and trends. Once the domain of cloistered trading teams on Wall Street, technicals can help top traders make consistently profitable trades and can aid fundamental investors in better planning their stock execution.

Without further ado, let's take a look at five technical setups worth trading now.

Edwards Lifesciences

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Up first is $14.5 billion medical equipment stock Edwards Lifesciences (EW) - Get Edwards Lifesciences Corporation Report. Edwards has been in rally mode for the last year, basically doubling since this time in 2014. But don't worry if you missed the move – the recent price action in EW suggests that this stock is getting ready for another leg higher. Here's how to trade it.

Edwards Lifesciences is currently forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish price setup that's formed by horizontal resistance above shares (in this case at $135.50) and uptrending support to the downside. Basically, as EW bounces between those two technically important price levels, it's been getting squeezed closer to a breakout above our $135.50 price ceiling. A breakout above that that level is the signal that it's time to be a buyer.

Shares briefly moved below their support line back at the end of January. That short-lived move was a bear trap that can be ignored for trading purposes.

Relative strength is the side indicator to watch in shares of Edwards Lifesciences right now. Our relative strength line has been in an uptrend going back to last summer, an indication that this stock is outperforming the rest of the market in good times and bad ones. As long as the uptrend in relative strength remains intact, this stock should continue to meaningfully outperform the S&P.

We're seeing the exact same setup in shares of small-cap Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical stock Zafgen (ZFGN) - Get Zafgen, Inc. Report. Like Edwards, this billion-dollar stock is forming an ascending triangle pattern after rallying hard in 2014. The breakout level to watch in ZFGN is resistance up at $42.50.

Why all of that significance at that $42.50 level? It all comes down to buyers and sellers. Price patterns, such as this ascending triangle pattern in ZFGN, are a good quick way to identify what's going on in the price action, but they're not the actual reason a stock is tradable. Instead, the "why" comes down to basic supply and demand for Zafgen's stock.

The $42.50 resistance level is a price at which there has been an excess of supply of shares. In other words, it's a spot where sellers have previously been more eager to step in and take gains than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes a breakout above $42.50 so significant. The move means that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level. Wait for shares to catch a bid above $42.50 before you buy Zafgen.


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Moving up the market cap scale just a bit takes us to mega-cap pharma stock GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline plc Sponsored ADR Report. Glaxo hasn't exactly been a strong performer lately. Shares shed more than 14% over the last year, underperforming the S&P by a whopping 28.1% in that timeframe. For most investors, it's been a glaring blemish on an otherwise solid year for stocks. But patience could be about to pay off in GSK; this stock looks "bottomy."

GSK has spent the last few months forming a double bottom pattern, a bullish reversal setup that looks just like it sounds. The double bottom is formed by a pair of swing lows that bottom out around the same price level. For GSK, those lows came in back in October and again in January. The buy signal came on the breakout through the $46.50 level that separated them.

Even though GSK's breakout is a couple of weeks old, it's still tradable today. After clearing the $46.50 level, this stock has been consolidating sideways, bleeding off some overbought momentum. From here, shares look likely to make a run up to their next big resistance level at $51.


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We're coming up on a bug buying opportunity in mid-cap medical device maker DexCom (DXCM) - Get DexCom, Inc. Report -- and the good news is that you don't need to be an expert technical trader to see why. DexCom has been a "buy-the-dips stock" since November, bouncing higher on every test of trend line support along the way. So as shares test support for a fifth time in March, it makes sense to buy the next bounce.

That price channel in DXCM is defined by a pair of parallel trend lines on either side of DexCom's price action. It identifies the high-probability range for shares to stay stuck within. It's temping to try to jump in as close to that lower trend line as possible, but that's the wrong move from a risk-management standpoint. Instead, waiting for the bounce is an important part of getting a good entry.

Waiting for that bounce is important for two key reasons: It's the spot where shares have the furthest to move up before they hit resistance, and it's the spot where the risk is the least (because shares have the least room to move lower before you know you're wrong). Remember, all trend lines do eventually break, but by actually waiting for the bounce to happen first, you're ensuring DXCM can actually still catch a bid along that line before you put your money on shares.

Novadaq Technologies

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Last up on our list of health care trades is Novadaq Technologiesundefined. Novadaq has been churning sideways for the better part of the last year, effectively at breakeven since last Spring. But zoom that chart out a bit, and things start to look a whole lot more constructive.

That's because NVDQ is showing traders a classic bullish pattern in the long term.

Novadaq has spent the last several months forming a long-term inverse head and shoulders pattern. You can spot the inverse head and shoulders by looking for two swing lows that bottom out around the same level (the shoulders), separated by a bigger trough called the head; the buy signal comes on the breakout above the pattern’s “neckline” level. That's the $17.50 level in NVDQ.

Momentum, measured by 14-day RSI at the top of the chart, adds some extra confidence to NVDQ's upside. Our momentum gauge has been in an uptrend since this summer, an indication that buying pressure is building in shares. Still, it's necessary to wait for price to signal a buy with a close above $17.50. We're bumping up near that level this week, but look out for tomorrow's earnings call as a potential event risk.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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Author had no positions in stocks mentioned.