Abbott Laboratories

(

ABT

) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 3.6%. By the end of trading, Abbott Laboratories rose $1.50 (2.8%) to $54.55 on average volume. Throughout the day, 9.5 million shares of Abbott Laboratories exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of nine million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $54.08-$54.60 after having opened the day at $54.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.05. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were:

PROLOR Biotech Inc

(

PBTH

), up 21.4%,

Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc

(

PGNX

), up 20.9%,

Amicus Therapeutics Inc

(

FOLD

), up 19.2%, and

Sangamo BioSciences Inc

(

SGMO

), up 18.4%.

Abbott Laboratories engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of health care products worldwide. Abbott Laboratories has a market cap of $82.87 billion and is part of the

drugs

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.3, equal to the average drugs industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Abbott as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

American Caresource Holdings Inc

(

ANCI

), down 31.8%,

Poniard Pharmaceuticals Inc

(

PARDD

), down 14.4%,

Dehaier Medical Systems

(

DHRM

), down 13%, and

Horizon Pharma Inc

(

HZNP

), down 12.7%, were all losers within the health care sector with

Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc

(

WPI

) being today's health care sector loser.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health care sector could consider

Health Care Select Sector SPDR

(

XLV

) while those bearish on the health care sector could consider

ProShares Ultra Short Health Care

(

RXD

).

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