5 Health Care Stocks Nudging The Sector Higher

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 52 points (0.3%) at 15,523 as of Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, 12:45 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,945 issues advancing vs. 956 declining with 122 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include DexCom ( DXCM), up 25.0%, ResMed ( RMD), up 3.3%, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ( VRX), up 2.3%, HCA Holdings ( HCA), up 1.7% and Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 1.6%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Amgen ( AMGN), down 1.5%, and Pfizer ( PFE), down 0.7%.

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

5. Sanofi ( SNY) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Sanofi is up $0.42 (0.8%) to $52.70 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.8 million shares of Sanofi exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $52.41-$52.99 after having opened the day at $52.90 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $52.28.

Sanofi researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. The company operates through Pharmaceuticals, Human Vaccines, and Animal Health segments. Sanofi has a market cap of $138.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Sanofi a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Sanofi 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, expanding profit margins 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 Sanofi Ratings Report now.

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4. As of noon trading, Quest Diagnostics ( DGX) is up $1.24 (2.1%) to $59.53 on average volume. Thus far, 875,085 shares of Quest Diagnostics exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.81-$59.56 after having opened the day at $58.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.29.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated provides diagnostic testing information services in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two businesses, Diagnostic Information Services and Diagnostic Solutions. Quest Diagnostics has a market cap of $8.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are unchanged year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Quest Diagnostics a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Quest Diagnostics 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, notable return on equity 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 Quest Diagnostics 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, Covidien ( COV) is up $0.49 (0.8%) to $63.83 on light volume. Thus far, 795,894 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $63.40-$63.93 after having opened the day at $63.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $63.34.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $29.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock performance, considering both the consistency and magnitude of the price movement over time. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Covidien 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, Allergan ( AGN) is up $1.70 (1.9%) to $92.03 on light volume. Thus far, 690,945 shares of Allergan exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.57-$92.03 after having opened the day at $90.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $90.33.

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 $27.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are down 1.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 10 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, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 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.

1. As of noon trading, Medtronic ( MDT) is up $0.52 (0.9%) to $55.70 on average volume. Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Medtronic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $55.39-$55.73 after having opened the day at $55.49 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $55.18.

Medtronic, Inc. manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Cardiac and Vascular Group, and Restorative Therapies Group. Medtronic has a market cap of $55.5 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 34.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Medtronic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medtronic as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, attractive 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 Medtronic 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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