3 Stocks Pushing The Health Care 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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 73 points (0.4%) at 16,911 as of Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,966 issues advancing vs. 988 declining with 181 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits down 0.2% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.4%. Top gainers within the sector include Grifols ( GRFS), up 2.9%, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ( VRX), up 1.6%, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 1.5%, Allergan ( AGN), up 0.8% and AbbVie ( ABBV), up 0.8%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Hospira ( HSP), down 1.9%, Gilead ( GILD), down 1.0%, Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA ( FMS), down 0.9%, HCA Holdings ( HCA), down 0.7% and GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), down 0.6%.

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

3. WellPoint ( WLP) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, WellPoint is up $1.28 (1.1%) to $113.68 on light volume. Thus far, 516,443 shares of WellPoint exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.9 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $111.86-$113.71 after having opened the day at $112.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $112.40.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

WellPoint, Inc., a health benefits company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of medical products in the United States. The company offers a spectrum of network-based managed care health benefit plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid, and senior markets. WellPoint has a market cap of $30.7 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 21.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate WellPoint a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates WellPoint 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, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations 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 WellPoint 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.

2. As of noon trading, Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) is up $7.92 (1.7%) to $472.23 on light volume. Thus far, 118,228 shares of Intuitive Surgical exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 481,300 shares. The stock has ranged in price between $464.52-$472.25 after having opened the day at $465.76 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $464.31.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets da Vinci surgical systems, and related instruments and accessories. Intuitive Surgical has a market cap of $16.5 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 20.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 10 analysts who rate Intuitive Surgical a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intuitive Surgical 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 and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Intuitive Surgical 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.

1. As of noon trading, Express Scripts ( ESRX) is up $0.47 (0.6%) to $74.31 on light volume. Thus far, 1.4 million shares of Express Scripts exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.0 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $73.66-$74.50 after having opened the day at $73.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $73.84.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Express Scripts Holding Company provides a range of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services primarily in the United States and Canada. The company offers healthcare management and administration services on behalf of its clients. Express Scripts has a market cap of $54.4 billion and is part of the health services industry. Shares are up 5.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are 14 analysts who rate Express Scripts a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Express Scripts as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Express Scripts 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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