ABBV, MRK And PFE, Pushing Health Care Sector Downward

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 down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 74 points (-0.4%) at 17,027 as of Monday, July 21, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 889 issues advancing vs. 2,085 declining with 146 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.4%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), down 3.4%, Perrigo ( PRGO), down 1.7%, Zimmer Holdings ( ZMH), down 1.3%, Stryker Corporation ( SYK), down 1.0% and Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA ( FMS), down 1.0%. A company within the sector that increased today was Alexion Pharmaceuticals ( ALXN), up 0.5%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the sector lower today:

3. AbbVie ( ABBV) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector lower today. As of noon trading, AbbVie is down $0.57 (-1.0%) to $54.34 on heavy volume. Thus far, 11.2 million shares of AbbVie exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 6.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $53.97-$54.45 after having opened the day at $54.14 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $54.91.

AbbVie Inc., a research-based biopharmaceutical company, is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide. AbbVie has a market cap of $85.3 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate AbbVie a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AbbVie as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, revenue growth and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow. Get the full AbbVie Ratings Report now.

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2. As of noon trading, Merck ( MRK) is down $0.32 (-0.6%) to $58.02 on light volume. Thus far, 2.7 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.71-$58.19 after having opened the day at $57.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.34.

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 $169.9 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 16.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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, Pfizer ( PFE) is down $0.34 (-1.1%) to $30.39 on light volume. Thus far, 9.4 million shares of Pfizer exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 27.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $30.30-$30.64 after having opened the day at $30.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $30.73.

Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells healthcare products worldwide. It offers medicines and vaccines, and various consumer healthcare products. Pfizer has a market cap of $197.5 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Pfizer a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pfizer 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Pfizer Ratings Report now.

STOCKS TO BUY: 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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