Amid the prevailing uncertainty, IPO investors have been flocking to the safety of health care -- and little else. But as the sector grows saturated, analysts say the new-issues market could broaden out over the next few months. Health care companies, which are considered resistant to economic slowdowns and generally have stable earnings growth, have dominated the IPO market recently. Of the six offerings this week, four are related to health care, and their performance so far has been impressive. Staffing company AMN Healthcare ( AHS), medical device maker Fisher & Paykel ( FPHC) and health care consultancy Advisory Board ( ABCO) all rose about 27% on their first day of trading. DJ Orthopedics, a medical device company with the proposed symbol DJO, is on tap for Friday. ( TheStreet.com's Ben Holmes recently published a
primer on the nuts and bolts of IPO investing.) Odyssey Healthcare ( ODSY), a hospice provider, has jumped 13% to $17 since its initial offering on Oct. 31. Cross Country ( CCRN), another staffing specialist, has climbed a whopping 40% to about $24 since it went public on Oct. 25. "Despite the recent run-up, caution and uncertainty continue to dominate the stock market, so it'll be a while longer before the IPO market broadens beyond defensive industries like health care," noted George Nichols, an analyst at Morningstar. Still, many sections and subsections of the health care industry have been penetrated now, and given the IPO market's cyclical nature, analysts are beginning to question how long the success can last. Nichols said the list of recent filings isn't as narrow as it had been, and said this indicates "there will be more parity among industries in the coming months." He's looking for cyclical stocks to come back into favor as the stock market prices in an economic recovery. However, until the equity market broadens, "IPO activity is likely to be sparse," he said. Another encouraging sign, according to Mark Baum, CEO of IPO.com, is that two companies outside the sector -- video game developer BAM! Entertainment and diet guru Weight Watchers ( WTW) -- are going public this week. (Weight Watchers was priced Thursday at $24 and opened at $29.75.) "This is the first spreading out we've seen, and it gives us some increased level of optimism," he said. "People are putting their toes back in the water and looking for other kinds of deals."