Health stocks - like the rest of 'em - were battered on Wednesday despite promising earnings from a few early reporters.

The Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices were down 7.9% and 6.3%, respectively - slightly less than the broader market indicators.

In earnings,

Genentech

(DNA)

shares added $2.38, or 3.0%, to $81.50 a day after the company kicked off biotech earnings season with its third quarter results. Sales of its lead products surpassed expectations. Genentech -- which didn't talk about a possible buyout by Roche on its earnings call -- garnered upgrades from Citi and Cowen and Co. on Wednesday.

Wednesday before market open,

Abbott

(ABT) - Get Abbott Laboratories Report

, which beat on the top and bottom line, also upped its full year guidance by about 11 cents to a range of between $3.31 and $3.33.

Abbott's shares were down 90 cents, or 1.6%, at $53.88, in recent trading. But the stock still out performed the Amex pharmaceutical index (of which it is a component); the index lost 6.3%.

St. Jude

(STJ)

also edged past top line estimates, with revenue increasing 17% to $1.08 billion, and guided to a range of $2.30 to $2.32 a share for the year, roughly in line with analyst estimates. Shares were off by 49 cents, or 1.3%, at $37.26.

TheStreet Recommends

Coming up Wednesday after the close post-market close, earnings from

Amylin

(AMLN)

. Analysts, on average, expect a loss of 50 cents a share, on revenue of $229.8 million.

On Thursday, look for earnings from device and pharmacy company

Baxter

(BAX) - Get Baxter International Inc. Report

before market open and biopharma companies

Gilead

(GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Report

and

Cubist

(CBST)

after the close.

The Street expects 82 cents a share on revenue of $3.07 billion from Baxter, 49 cents a share on revenue of $1.32 billion from Gilead, and 33 cents a share on revenue of $108 million from Cubist.