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) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.7%. By the end of trading, Covidien rose $1.01 (1.9%) to $53.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.8 million shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.9 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $53.19-$53.50 after having opened the day at $53.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.49. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were:

Iridex Corporation



), up 21.6%,




), up 12.8%,

Alliance HealthCare Services



), up 10.9%, and

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TearLab Corpoartion



), up 10.3%.

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Covidien Public Limited Company develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings in the United States and internationally. Covidien has a market cap of $25.39 billion and is part of the

health care

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, equal to the average health services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 17% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front,

Sunshine Heart



), down 27.6%,

CombiMatrix Corporation



), down 19%,




), down 15.4%, and

Unilife Corporation



), down 10.1%, were all losers within the health services industry with

UnitedHealth Group



) being today's health services industry loser.

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

Health Care Select Sector SPDR



) while those bearish on the health services industry could consider

ProShares Ultra Short Health Care