5 Stocks Pushing The Health Care Sector Higher

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 76 points (0.5%) at 15,300 as of Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 12:50 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,101 issues advancing vs. 849 declining with 106 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is up 1.2%. Top gainers within the sector include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN), up 2.1%, Celgene Corporation ( CELG), up 1.9%, WellPoint ( WLP), up 1.6%, Cigna ( CI), up 1.5% and Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN), up 1.5%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), down 17.9%, Quest Diagnostics ( DGX), down 5.2%, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH), down 4.3% and Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), down 0.9%.

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

5. Aetna ( AET) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Aetna is up $0.72 (1.1%) to $63.78 on light volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.37-$63.93 after having opened the day at $63.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.06.

Aetna Inc. operates as a diversified health care benefits company in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. Aetna has a market cap of $20.4 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 35.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Aetna a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

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

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

4. As of noon trading, Allergan ( AGN) is up $1.20 (1.4%) to $86.86 on average volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Allergan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.83-$87.62 after having opened the day at $86.09 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $85.65.

Allergan, Inc. operates as a multi-specialty healthcare company primarily in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific. Allergan has a market cap of $25.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are down 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Allergan a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Allergan 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, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Get the full Allergan Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

3. As of noon trading, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY) is up $0.42 (1.0%) to $44.40 on light volume. Thus far, 2.9 million shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $44.14-$44.68 after having opened the day at $44.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.97.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells biopharmaceutical products that help patients prevail over serious diseases worldwide. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has a market cap of $72.6 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 34.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Bristol-Myers Squibb Company a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bristol-Myers Squibb Company as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

2. As of noon trading, Gilead ( GILD) is up $1.04 (1.9%) to $54.36 on light volume. Thus far, 3.7 million shares of Gilead exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.35-$54.36 after having opened the day at $54.02 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $53.32.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes human therapeutics for the treatment of life threatening diseases in North America, Europe, and Asia. Gilead has a market cap of $81.3 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 45.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Gilead a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gilead as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels 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 Gilead Ratings Report now.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

1. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.46 (1.0%) to $47.87 on light volume. Thus far, 4.2 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 18.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $47.66-$48.00 after having opened the day at $47.72 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $47.41.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $142.4 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 15.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 9 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. 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.

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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).

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