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) pushed the Drugs industry higher today making it today's featured drugs winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.4%. By the end of trading, Novartis rose 49 cents (0.8%) to $58.62 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3.6 million shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $58.48-$58.93 after having opened the day at $58.54 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.13. Other companies within the Drugs industry that increased today were:




), up 9.3%,

China Pharma



), up 9.1%,

Impax Laboratories



), up 8.3%, and




), up 6.9%.

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Novartis AG, through its subsidiaries, engages in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of healthcare products worldwide. Novartis has a market cap of $141.74 billion and is part of the

health care

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.5, below the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 16.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Novartis a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and one rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Novartis as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front,




), down 23%,

Savient Pharmaceuticals



), down 12.2%,

K-V Pharmaceutical Company



), down 10.7%, and

Arena Pharmaceuticals



), down 10.4%, were all laggards within the drugs industry with

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries



) being today's drugs industry laggard.

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

SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF



) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider

ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech