Biopharma giant Amgen (AMGN) - Get Report, health-insurance powerhouse UnitedHealth (UNH) - Get Report and dental-products supplier Dentsply (XRAY) - Get Report advanced after they landed coveted spots on Goldman Sachs's Americas Conviction List for 2020.
Amgen's stock price rose 3.2% to $244.32, UnitedHealth jumped 3.1% to $294.41 and Dentsply tacked on 2.7% to $57.89.
In adding the three names to the list, analyst Asad Haider cited a "constructive bias" toward the health-care sector for 2020, Bloomberg reported.
Following a year in which health-care sector stocks lagged, valuations are now more "reasonable," with buying opportunities appearing in managed-care and biopharma stocks, Haider wrote.
While the S&P 500 posted a 26% gain this year, the S&P 500 Health Index rose a more modest 16%, according to the news service.
Going forward, investors now better understand that aggressive policies aimed at drug prices or other health-care issues will likely not go anywhere, given the political realities of a divided government in an election year, the Goldman Sachs analyst noted.
And while drug pricing will garner much attention as the presidential election campaign heats up, any changes are likely to be incremental, Goldman's Haider wrote.
UnitedHealth is coming off a major acquisition last week, when it agreed to pay $4 a share, or $304 million, for Diplomat Pharmacy, the Flint, Mich., specialty pharmacy and infusion services provider.