5 Stocks Pushing The Health Care Sector Higher

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 22 points (0.2%) at 12,810 as of Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 11:49 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,635 issues advancing vs. 1,204 declining with 167 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.0%. Top gainers within the sector include Thoratec Corporation ( THOR), up 4.9%, Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 3.2%, Shire ( SHPG), up 1.5% and Becton Dickinson ( BDX), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), down 1.8%, Edwards Life ( EW), down 1.3%, Humana ( HUM), down 1.0%, Sanofi ( SNY), down 0.6% and Express Scripts ( ESRX), down 0.7%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 5 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

5. Vivus ( VVUS) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Vivus is up $1.26 (12.2%) to $11.61 on heavy volume Thus far, 11.6 million shares of Vivus exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $10.34-$12.59 after having opened the day at $10.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $10.35.

VIVUS, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, is developing therapies to address obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, and male sexual health. Its lead investigational product, Qnexa, has completed Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. Vivus has a market cap of $1.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of -10.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Vivus a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vivus as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income and feeble growth in its earnings per share. Get the full Vivus Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Herbalife ( HLF) is up $1.60 (3.4%) to $48.86 on average volume Thus far, 611,108 shares of Herbalife exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.21-$48.89 after having opened the day at $47.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.26.

Herbalife Ltd., a network marketing company, sells weight management, nutritional supplement, energy, sports and fitness, and personal care products worldwide. Herbalife has a market cap of $5.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 10.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Herbalife a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Herbalife as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Herbalife Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN) is up $2.25 (1.3%) to $175.12 on average volume Thus far, 498,176 shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 736,000 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $171.50-$176.15 after having opened the day at $172.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $172.87.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions in the United States. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $15.2 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 81.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 189.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Regeneron Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Celgene Corporation ( CELG) is up $0.64 (0.8%) to $77.76 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Celgene Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $77.60-$78.11 after having opened the day at $77.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $77.12.

Celgene Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes various therapies to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory related diseases primarily in the United States and Europe. Celgene Corporation has a market cap of $31.8 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Celgene Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Celgene Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Celgene Corporation Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.20 (0.5%) to $43.76 on light volume Thus far, 2.8 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $43.63-$43.88 after having opened the day at $43.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.56.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. Merck has a market cap of $131.8 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Merck Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 5 stocks, 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).

A reminder about TheStreet Ratings group: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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