Today's Top Performers In Drugs

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 34 points (0.2%) at 17,646 as of Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, 12:00 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,160 issues advancing vs. 1,783 declining with 183 unchanged.

The Drugs industry currently sits down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which is down 0.1%. Top gainers within the industry include Novartis ( NVS), up 2.1%, and Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), up 0.7%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX), down 2.6%, Gilead ( GILD), down 2.4%, Biogen Idec ( BIIB), down 1.3%, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ( REGN), down 0.8% and Novo Nordisk A/S ( NVO), down 0.7%.

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

3. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ( VRX) is one of the companies pushing the Drugs industry higher today. As of noon trading, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is up $1.70 (1.3%) to $132.79 on light volume. Thus far, 630,731 shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.5 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $131.65-$133.84 after having opened the day at $131.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $131.09.

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

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and medical devices in the areas of eye health, dermatology, and neurology therapeutic classes worldwide. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has a market cap of $43.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 11.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Valeant Pharmaceuticals International a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Valeant Pharmaceuticals International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated. Get the full Valeant Pharmaceuticals International 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, Actavis ( ACT) is up $2.62 (1.1%) to $243.24 on average volume. Thus far, 1.0 million shares of Actavis exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.2 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $241.85-$246.25 after having opened the day at $242.04 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $240.62.

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

Actavis plc, an integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, is engaged in the development, manufacture, marketing, sale, and distribution of pharmaceutical products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and the Asia Pacific. Actavis has a market cap of $64.6 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 43.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 15 analysts who rate Actavis a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Actavis as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Get the full Actavis 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, Merck ( MRK) is up $0.42 (0.7%) to $59.72 on light volume. Thus far, 2.1 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10.6 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $59.50-$59.95 after having opened the day at $59.50 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $59.31.

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

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 $169.3 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 18.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 6 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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 Merck 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 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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