5 Stocks Pushing The Health Care Sector Lower

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

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 19 points (-0.1%) at 13,006 as of Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,239 issues advancing vs. 1,655 declining with 129 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), down 1.0%, St Jude Medical ( STJ), down 1.2%, Express Scripts ( ESRX), down 0.9%, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), down 0.7% and Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), down 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN), up 2.3%, Fresenius Medical Care Corporation ( FMS), up 1.2%, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ( VRX), up 1.2%, Sanofi ( SNY), up 1.1% and Biogen Idec ( BIIB), up 1.1%.

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

5. Health Management Associates ( HMA) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector lower today. As of noon trading, Health Management Associates is down $0.48 (-6.1%) to $7.46 on heavy volume Thus far, 7.4 million shares of Health Management Associates exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $7.35-$7.86 after having opened the day at $7.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.95.

Health Management Associates, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of general acute care hospitals and other health care facilities in non-urban communities in the United States. Health Management Associates has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Health Management Associates a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Management Associates as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow. Get the full Health Management Associates Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) is down $0.72 (-1.8%) to $39.07 on light volume Thus far, 510,962 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $38.95-$40.07 after having opened the day at $39.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.79.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in discovering, developing, manufacturing, and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases worldwide. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 64.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Vertex Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vertex Pharmaceuticals as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share. Get the full Vertex Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report now.

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3. As of noon trading, Illumina ( ILMN) is down $1.50 (-2.8%) to $52.21 on light volume Thus far, 486,932 shares of Illumina exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $51.24-$53.29 after having opened the day at $53.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.71.

Illumina, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and South Africa. Illumina has a market cap of $6.4 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 74.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 76.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Illumina a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Illumina as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Illumina Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Covidien ( COV) is down $0.23 (-0.4%) to $57.88 on average volume Thus far, 920,178 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.53-$58.38 after having opened the day at $58.18 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.11.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $27.6 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Covidien Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) is down $0.43 (-0.7%) to $64.57 on light volume Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Abbott Laboratories exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.46-$65.32 after having opened the day at $65.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.00.

Abbott Laboratories engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of health care products worldwide. Abbott Laboratories has a market cap of $102.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Abbott Laboratories a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Abbott Laboratories as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. 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 Abbott Laboratories Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 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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