3 Stocks Pushing 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 115 points (0.7%) at 16,388 as of Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,987 issues advancing vs. 938 declining with 158 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.6%. Top gainers within the sector include Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA ( FMS), up 3.6%, WellPoint ( WLP), up 2.8%, Grifols ( GRFS), up 2.8%, Amgen ( AMGN), up 2.4% and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA), up 1.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Medivation ( MDVN), down 13.5%, Questcor Pharmaceuticals ( QCOR), down 7.8%, Endo Health Solutions ( ENDP), down 6.6%, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ( JAZZ), down 4.4% and Intercept Pharmaceuticals ( ICPT), down 3.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector higher today:

3. Covidien ( COV) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Covidien is up $1.03 (1.4%) to $72.37 on average volume. Thus far, 812,219 shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $71.36-$72.41 after having opened the day at $71.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $71.34.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $32.0 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 4.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts who rate Covidien a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Covidien as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. 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, Medtronic ( MDT) is up $1.31 (2.2%) to $59.61 on average volume. Thus far, 2.3 million shares of Medtronic exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.26-$59.61 after having opened the day at $58.27 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.30.

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 $57.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Medtronic a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. 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.

1. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $1.02 (1.4%) to $75.58 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $74.51-$75.74 after having opened the day at $74.81 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $74.56.

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 $57.4 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 5.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 14 analysts who 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 solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, 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 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.

If you are interested in one of these 3 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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