Aetna

(

AET

) pushed the Health Care sector higher today making it today's featured health care winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Aetna rose 61 cents (1.5%) to $41.81 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $41.22-$41.90 after having opened the day at $41.42 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.20. Other companies within the Health Care sector that increased today were:

IsoRay

(

ISR

), up 50%,

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals

(

CYCC

), up 25.8%,

Santarus

(

SNTS

), up 13.5%, and

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals

(

SNSS

), up 13.5%.

Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $14.31 billion and is part of the

health services

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of eight, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Aetna as a

buy

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

On the negative front,

AspenBio Pharma

(

APPY

), down 33.9%,

Complete Genomics

(

GNOM

), down 13%,

Cormedix

(

CRMD

), down 10.9%, and

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

(

VRTX

), down 10.9%, were all losers within the health care sector with

Novo Nordisk A/S

(

NVO

) 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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