3 Stocks Pushing The Drugs 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.

One out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 16 points (-0.1%) at 16,836 as of Monday, June 30, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,605 issues advancing vs. 1,347 declining with 197 unchanged.

The Drugs industry currently sits up 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. A company within the industry that increased today was Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN), up 2.1%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Allergan ( AGN), down 2.3%, Eli Lilly and ( LLY), down 0.9%, Mylan ( MYL), down 0.9% and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ( BMY), down 0.7%.

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 $7.58 (4.4%) to $180.28 on average volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Illumina exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $172.50-$180.48 after having opened the day at $174.34 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $172.70.

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 $22.0 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 56.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.53 (0.9%) to $58.06 on light volume. Thus far, 3.2 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.53-$58.20 after having opened the day at $57.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.53.

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 $171.0 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 14.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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.

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1. As of noon trading, Gilead ( GILD) is up $0.80 (1.0%) to $83.74 on light volume. Thus far, 5.3 million shares of Gilead exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $82.63-$84.45 after having opened the day at $82.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $82.94.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of life threatening diseases in North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. Gilead has a market cap of $126.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 10.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 16 analysts who rate Gilead a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gilead as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Get the full Gilead 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 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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