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.

One out of the three major indices are trading up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 8 points (0.0%) at 17,140 as of Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,738 issues advancing vs. 1,242 declining with 174 unchanged.

The Health Care sector currently sits up 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which is unchanged. Top gainers within the sector include Auxilium Pharmaceuticals ( AUXL), up 44.2%, Endo International ( ENDP), up 6.7%, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals ( ALNY), up 4.8%, Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), up 1.3% and Sanofi ( SNY), up 1.2%. On the negative front, top decliners within the sector include Baxter International ( BAX), down 2.8%, Gilead ( GILD), down 1.7%, DaVita HealthCare Partners ( DVA), down 1.3%, Medtronic ( MDT), down 0.9% and Covidien ( COV), down 0.9%.

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

3. Salix Pharmaceuticals ( SLXP) is one of the companies pushing the Health Care sector higher today. As of noon trading, Salix Pharmaceuticals is up $4.13 (2.6%) to $160.00 on heavy volume. Thus far, 1.5 million shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.4 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $158.32-$164.80 after having opened the day at $159.03 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $155.87.

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

Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. acquires, develops, and commercializes prescription drugs and medical devices to treat various gastrointestinal diseases in the United States. Salix Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $9.5 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 73.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Salix Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Salix Pharmaceuticals as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance 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 Salix Pharmaceuticals 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, Shire ( SHPG) is up $2.57 (1.0%) to $261.48 on light volume. Thus far, 286,541 shares of Shire exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $259.24-$261.48 after having opened the day at $259.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $258.91.

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

Shire plc, a biopharmaceutical company, together with its subsidiaries, researches, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells pharmaceutical products. Shire has a market cap of $49.7 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 83.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 4 analysts who rate Shire a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Shire as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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 Shire 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, AbbVie ( ABBV) is up $0.79 (1.4%) to $59.39 on average volume. Thus far, 6.4 million shares of AbbVie exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $58.75-$59.56 after having opened the day at $58.89 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $58.60.

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

AbbVie Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide. AbbVie has a market cap of $92.2 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 11.0% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 analysts who rate AbbVie a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 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 weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full AbbVie 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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