3 Health Services Stocks Nudging The Industry 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 14 points (0.1%) at 16,515 as of Thursday, April 24, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,645 issues advancing vs. 1,332 declining with 182 unchanged.

The Health Services industry currently sits up 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the industry include Zimmer Holdings ( ZMH), up 11.8%, and Smith & Nephew ( SNN), up 3.6%. A company within the industry that fell today was Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO), up 2.8%.

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

3. WellPoint ( WLP) is one of the companies pushing the Health Services industry higher today. As of noon trading, WellPoint is up $2.22 (2.3%) to $96.91 on light volume. Thus far, 1.1 million shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $95.57-$97.17 after having opened the day at $95.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.69.

WellPoint, Inc., a health benefits company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of medical products in the United States. The company offers a spectrum of network-based managed care health benefit plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets. WellPoint has a market cap of $26.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 2.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts who rate WellPoint a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellPoint as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full WellPoint Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $0.83 (1.2%) to $71.76 on average volume. Thus far, 2.2 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $70.92-$71.94 after having opened the day at $71.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $70.93.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. The company offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. Express Scripts has a market cap of $55.0 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 1.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 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 good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Get the full Express Scripts Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) is up $1.59 (2.1%) to $76.92 on average volume. Thus far, 2.1 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 $75.91-$77.05 after having opened the day at $76.15 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $75.33.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $74.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 0.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts who rate UnitedHealth Group a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full UnitedHealth Group Ratings Report now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, 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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