St Jude Medical Inc. (STJ): Today's Featured Health Services Laggard

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St Jude Medical ( STJ) pushed the Health Services industry lower today making it today's featured Health Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, St Jude Medical fell $0.90 (-1.3%) to $67.07 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2,844,853 shares of St Jude Medical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,607,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $66.75-$68.55 after having opened the day at $68.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $67.97. Other companies within the Health Services industry that declined today were: Baxano Surgical ( BAXS), down 11.4%, Synergetics USA ( SURG), down 11.2%, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals ( ACRX), down 8.4% and AxoGen ( AXGN), down 7.6%.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. develops, manufactures, and distributes cardiovascular and implantable neurostimulation medical devices worldwide. It operates in two divisions, Cardiovascular and Ablation Technologies, and Implantable Electronic Systems. St Jude Medical has a market cap of $19.3 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 10.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 13 analysts that rate St Jude Medical a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates St Jude Medical as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the positive front, Retractable Technologies ( RVP), up 8.3%, Huttig Building Products ( HBP), up 7.3%, InfuSystems Holdings ( INFU), up 7.1% and Arrhythmia Research Technology ( HRT), up 6.8% , were all gainers within the health services industry with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings ( LH) being today's featured health services industry leader.

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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