Aetna Inc (AET): Today's Featured Health Services Winner

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Aetna ( AET) pushed the Health Services industry higher today making it today's featured health services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, Aetna rose $1.77 (2.7%) to $67.47 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,416,247 shares of Aetna exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,578,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $66.38-$68.49 after having opened the day at $66.62 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $65.70. Other companies within the Health Services industry that increased today were: Lakeland Industries ( LAKE), up 34.9%, Rockwell Medical ( RMTI), up 22.8%, EnteroMedics ( ETRM), up 9.4% and CardioNet ( BEAT), up 7.7%.

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 $24.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 42.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

On the negative front, ERBA Diagnostics ( ERB), down 9.2%, Nanosphere ( NSPH), down 8.5%, RTI Surgical ( RTIX), down 6.3% and Healthways ( HWAY), down 4.5% , were all laggards within the health services industry with Covidien ( COV) being today's health services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the health services industry could consider Health Care Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) while those bearish on the health services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Health Care ( RXD).

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