Today's Top Performers In Drugs

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 17 points (0.1%) at 16,651 as of Thursday, May 29, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,820 issues advancing vs. 1,121 declining with 182 unchanged.

The Drugs industry currently sits up 0.7% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.2%. Top gainers within the industry include Allergan ( AGN), up 1.4%, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY), up 1.3%, GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), up 1.0% and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ( VRX), up 0.8%.

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 $2.30 (1.5%) to $159.70 on light volume. Thus far, 426,772 shares of Illumina exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $158.01-$160.89 after having opened the day at $158.99 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $157.39.

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 $20.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 42.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. 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, Biogen Idec ( BIIB) is up $9.66 (3.1%) to $318.47 on average volume. Thus far, 1.0 million 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 $314.54-$319.33 after having opened the day at $314.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $308.81.

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 $73.5 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 10.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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.

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1. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.82 (1.5%) to $57.22 on light volume. Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $56.60-$57.27 after having opened the day at $56.91 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $56.40.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $166.1 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 12.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Merck 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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