4 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 10 points (0.1%) at 14,085 as of Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:04 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,607 issues advancing vs. 1,243 declining with 160 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Amgen ( AMGN), up 1.9%, Express Scripts ( ESRX), up 1.7%, DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), up 1.4%, HCA Holdings ( HCA), up 1.1% and Sanofi ( SNY), up 1.0%. A company within the sector that fell today was Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO), up 0.4%.

TheStreet Ratings group would like to highlight 4 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

4. Novartis ( NVS) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Novartis is up $0.79 (1.2%) to $68.11 on average volume Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $67.65-$68.34 after having opened the day at $67.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.32.

Novartis AG engages in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of a range of healthcare products worldwide. Novartis has a market cap of $161.6 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN) is up $3.45 (2.1%) to $168.25 on light volume Thus far, 242,972 shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 830,600 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $165.25-$169.51 after having opened the day at $165.25 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $164.80.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, invents, develops, manufactures, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions in the United States and internationally. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $15.4 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 3.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Regeneron Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 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, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. 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, Biogen Idec ( BIIB) is up $1.47 (0.9%) to $167.53 on light volume Thus far, 362,463 shares of Biogen Idec exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $164.62-$168.16 after having opened the day at $165.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $166.06.

Biogen Idec Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia, and autoimmune disorders in the United States and internationally. Biogen Idec has a market cap of $38.3 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 10.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Biogen Idec a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Biogen Idec 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 good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Biogen Idec Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Celgene Corporation ( CELG) is up $3.31 (3.3%) to $104.35 on average volume Thus far, 2.4 million shares of Celgene Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $100.85-$104.72 after having opened the day at $101.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $101.04.

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 $41.6 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 26.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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 good cash flow from operations. 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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If you are interested in one of these 4 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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