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Salix Pharmaceuticals ( SLXP) pushed the Health Care sector lower today making it today's featured Health Care laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.5%. By the end of trading, Salix Pharmaceuticals fell $1.17 (-1.3%) to $89.26 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,094,738 shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 847,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $87.93-$89.94 after having opened the day at $88.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $90.43. Other companies within the Health Care sector that declined today were: Mast Therapeutics ( MSTX), down 23.6%, BG Medicine ( BGMD), down 9.3%, TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation ( TLOG), down 6.4% and CytRx Corporation ( CYTR), down 5.3%.

Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. acquires, develops, and commercializes prescription drugs and medical devices used in the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases in the United States. Salix Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $5.7 billion and is part of the drugs industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 54.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Salix Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Salix Pharmaceuticals as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.

On the positive front, Neurocrine Biosciences ( NBIX), up 89.7%, Epizyme ( EPZM), up 75.6%, Pharmacyclics ( PCYC), up 19.8% and Imprimis Pharmaceuticals ( IMMY), up 19.2% , were all gainers within the health care sector with Amgen ( AMGN) being today's featured health care sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, 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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