3 Stocks Advancing The Drugs Industry

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 60 points (0.4%) at 16,603 as of Friday, May 23, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,002 issues advancing vs. 938 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Drugs industry currently sits up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the industry include Isis Pharmaceuticals ( ISIS), up 9.4%, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ( ALNY), up 6.2%, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ( VRX), up 1.5%, Allergan ( AGN), up 1.3% and Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN), up 1.0%.

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

3. Illumina ( ILMN) is one of the companies pushing the Drugs industry higher today. As of noon trading, Illumina is up $2.80 (1.8%) to $160.18 on average volume. Thus far, 931,699 shares of Illumina exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $156.37-$160.80 after having opened the day at $158.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $157.38.

Illumina, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and South Africa. Illumina has a market cap of $19.8 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 42.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Illumina a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Illumina 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, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Illumina Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, AstraZeneca ( AZN) is up $0.57 (0.8%) to $72.73 on heavy volume. Thus far, 4.4 million shares of AstraZeneca exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $72.16-$73.00 after having opened the day at $72.37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.16.

AstraZeneca PLC is engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of medicines for cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity; and infection, neuroscience, and gastrointestinal disease areas worldwide. AstraZeneca has a market cap of $92.9 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 21.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates AstraZeneca a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AstraZeneca 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, expanding profit margins 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 AstraZeneca 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, Biogen Idec ( BIIB) is up $1.72 (0.6%) to $301.41 on light volume. Thus far, 471,484 shares of Biogen Idec exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $295.51-$302.73 after having opened the day at $301.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $299.69.

Biogen Idec Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia, and autoimmune disorders in the United States and internationally. Biogen Idec has a market cap of $70.1 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 7.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 12 analysts who rate Biogen Idec a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Biogen Idec 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, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full Biogen Idec 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 drugs industry could consider SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF ( XPH) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech ( BIS).

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