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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 33 points (-0.2%) at 14,002 as of Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 11:50 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,057 issues advancing vs. 1,779 declining with 154 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.1% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.5%. Top gainers within the sector include Pharmacyclics Incorporated ( PCYC), up 2.4%, Express Scripts ( ESRX), up 1.9%, Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN), up 1.4%, Amgen ( AMGN), up 1.1% and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Life Technologies ( LIFE), down 7.4%, Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO), down 2.5%, Medtronic ( MDT), down 2.2%, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), down 1.8% and Cigna ( CI), down 1.0%.

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

5. Novo Nordisk A/S ( NVO) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Novo Nordisk A/S is up $2.42 (1.4%) to $175.39 on light volume Thus far, 99,328 shares of Novo Nordisk A/S exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 298,900 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $174.86-$176.02 after having opened the day at $175.23 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $172.97.

Novo Nordisk A/S, a healthcare company, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical products in Denmark and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Diabetes Care and Biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk A/S has a market cap of $96.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Novo Nordisk A/S a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Novo Nordisk A/S 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 solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Novo Nordisk A/S Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Novartis ( NVS) is up $0.37 (0.5%) to $70.01 on average volume Thus far, 723,477 shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.97-$70.24 after having opened the day at $70.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $69.64.

Novartis AG engages in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of healthcare products worldwide. Novartis has a market cap of $167.5 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.8, equal to the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Novartis a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

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

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3. As of noon trading, Celgene Corporation ( CELG) is up $2.49 (2.5%) to $102.95 on heavy volume Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Celgene Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $101.85-$103.69 after having opened the day at $101.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.46.

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 $41.8 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 23 analysts that rate Celgene Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 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, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Celgene Corporation Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Gilead ( GILD) is up $0.50 (1.2%) to $42.78 on light volume Thus far, 3.2 million shares of Gilead exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.49-$42.84 after having opened the day at $42.51 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.28.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes human therapeutics for the treatment of life threatening diseases worldwide. Gilead has a market cap of $63.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Gilead a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gilead as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Gilead Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.24 (0.6%) to $42.46 on average volume Thus far, 5.7 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $42.32-$42.64 after having opened the day at $42.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.22.

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 $125.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Merck a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. 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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