Humana, Pharma Stocks Sink as Healthcare is Worst Performing Sector Wednesday

U.S. stocks were little affected by Wednesday's Federal Reserve minutes, from which investors had hoped to gain new insights about the next federal interest-rate increase.

While most sectors went up steadily, healthcare was down today. With five stocks within the sector falling more than 5% by the closing bell, pharmaceutical companies were among the biggest losers of the day. Health insurer Humana (HUM)  also plunged, declining 5.1%, to a close of $168.44, after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that the insurer was a member of fewer highly rated Medicare plans.

Shares perked up in after-hours trading, erasing the earlier losses. 

Here's a wrap up of the biotech and pharma companies that took it on the chin Wednesday:

Omeros Corp.  (OMER) ,a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, dipped almost 10% to $7.80 per share after Zacks Investment Research downgraded its rating on the company's stock to "sell" in a report released Wednesday. The company's stock price has officially hit a new 52-week low.

Other movers in the space included Sangamo Biosciences  (SGMO) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, which fell almost 10% by the close to $4.13 per share after several equities research analysts issued different comments from "outperform" to "hold" last week. Jefferies Group restated a "buy" rating while Zacks Investment Research downgraded the stock from a"hold" rating to a "sell" rating.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX)  is a small company focused on pushing its sole product, Auryxia, to patients with chronic kidney disease. Shares of Keryx fell 8.49% to $4.96 per share. The company suffered a shortage of its core product due to production-related issues back in August. 

Meanwhile, shares of Zogenix, Inc. (ZGNX) , another pharmaceutical company in the mix, traded down 7.06%, hitting $9.34 per share at the market close. Investors including JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) and AllianceBernstein have recently increased their holdings of Zogenix's stock.

IRIDEX Corp.  (IRIX) , which just reported preliminary revenues of approximately $9.6 to $9.7 million for the third quarter yesterday, saw its shares falling almost 7% to $12.97 per share at the market's close. Analysts expected revenues of $11.2 million, while the company previously indicated guidance of $11 million to $11.3 million.

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