5 Stocks Raising The Health Care 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 83 points (0.5%) at 16,304 as of Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,307 issues advancing vs. 673 declining with 118 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 1.1% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include United Therapeutics Corporation ( UTHR), up 24.1%, Illumina ( ILMN), up 2.3%, Actavis ( ACT), up 2.2%, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX), up 2.0% and Humana ( HUM), up 1.7%.

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

5. Baxter International ( BAX) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Baxter International is up $0.54 (0.8%) to $68.92 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Baxter International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $68.00-$68.94 after having opened the day at $68.55 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.39.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. Baxter International has a market cap of $36.4 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.0, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Baxter International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Baxter International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, 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 generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Baxter International 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, Eli Lilly and Company ( LLY) is up $0.62 (1.2%) to $50.82 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Eli Lilly and Company exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $50.28-$50.88 after having opened the day at $50.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $50.20.

Eli Lilly and Company discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide. Eli Lilly and Company has a market cap of $56.5 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 1.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Eli Lilly and Company a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Eli Lilly and Company 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, attractive valuation levels 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 Eli Lilly and 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.

3. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $0.66 (1.0%) to $69.62 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $69.07-$69.64 after having opened the day at $69.40 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.96.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. It offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. Express Scripts has a market cap of $54.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 29.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Express Scripts 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, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) is up $1.14 (1.6%) to $74.50 on light volume. Thus far, 1.2 million shares of UnitedHealth Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $73.71-$74.50 after having opened the day at $73.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.35.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $72.9 billion and is part of the health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 35.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate UnitedHealth Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full UnitedHealth Group 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, Pfizer ( PFE) is up $0.16 (0.5%) to $30.40 on light volume. Thus far, 9.5 million shares of Pfizer exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.17-$30.50 after having opened the day at $30.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.25.

Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells medicines for people and animals worldwide. Pfizer has a market cap of $199.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Pfizer a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pfizer 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, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations 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 Pfizer 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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