3 Health Care Stocks Driving The 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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 17 points (-0.1%) at 16,759 as of Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,419 issues advancing vs. 1,541 declining with 179 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX), down 8.0%, Medtronic ( MDT), down 2.7%, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), down 0.9%, AbbVie ( ABBV), down 0.9% and Eli Lilly and ( LLY), down 0.6%.

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 $13.93 (19.3%) to $85.95 on heavy volume. Thus far, 52.9 million shares of Covidien exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $85.53-$92.68 after having opened the day at $92.35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.02.

Covidien plc develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products for use in clinical and home settings worldwide. Covidien has a market cap of $32.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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 growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and reasonable valuation levels. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results. Get the full Covidien Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, HCA Holdings ( HCA) is up $0.85 (1.6%) to $55.83 on average volume. Thus far, 1.9 million shares of HCA Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $54.99-$56.63 after having opened the day at $55.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.98.

HCA Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides health care services. HCA Holdings has a market cap of $24.5 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 15.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts who rate HCA Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCA Holdings as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins. Get the full HCA Holdings Ratings Report now.

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1. As of noon trading, Novartis ( NVS) is up $0.77 (0.9%) to $90.11 on light volume. Thus far, 567,895 shares of Novartis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $90.06-$90.38 after having opened the day at $90.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.34.

Its Pharmaceuticals division offers patented prescription medicines in various therapeutic areas, including oncology; primary care and established medicines; specialty care, such as ophthalmology, neuroscience, integrated hospital care, and critical care; and cardiovascular and metabolism. Novartis has a market cap of $219.0 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 11.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate Novartis a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Novartis 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, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity. Get the full Novartis 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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