Alexion Pharmaceuticals and More Big Movers in Healthcare on December 7, 2012

By Investopedia Staff | December 07, 2012 AAA

So far today, the Nasdaq is down 0.7%, the S&P 500 is unchanged and the Dow is trading up 0.3%. The healthcare sector is the category of stocks relating to medical and healthcare goods or services. This sector includes hospital management firms, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), biotechnology and a variety of medical products. Stocks in the healthcare sector are often considered to be defensive because the products and services are essential. Even during economic downturns, people will still require medical aid and medicine to overcome illness. Having a consistent demand for goods and services makes this sector less sensitive to business cycle fluctuations.

These are the biggest movers in the Healthcare sector (XLV) (+0.1%):

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Amarin Corporation plc (Nasdaq:AMRN) $1.78 billion -18.8%
Puma Biotechnology (NYSE:PBYI) $559 million -4.4%
WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) $2.04 billion +3.3%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN) $18.18 billion -3.2%
Sarepta Therapeutics (Nasdaq:SRPT) $699.4 million -3.2%
Abaxis (Nasdaq:ABAX) $808.9 million +2.6%
HCA (NYSE:HCA) $14.67 billion +2.3%

Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

Taking a 18.8% hit, Amarin Corporation plc (Nasdaq:AMRN) is currently trading at $9.70 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 11.6 million shares.

Slipping 4.4%, Puma Biotechnology (NYSE:PBYI) is currently trading at $18.65 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 20,201 shares, 0.4 times its current three-month average.

After an increase of 3.3%, WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) has reached a current price of $48.65. So far today, the company's volume is 333,756 shares. This is 0.7 times its average daily volume.

After a decline of 3.2%, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN) has hit a share price of $90.58. So far today, the company's volume is 565,972 shares, on pace to reach yesterday's volume of 983,874 shares.

Sarepta Therapeutics (Nasdaq:SRPT) has fallen 3.2% and is currently trading at $26.60 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 2.2 million shares.

Abaxis (Nasdaq:ABAX) has moved up 2.6% and is currently trading at $37.79 per share. With 52,587 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.7 times its average over the past three months.

HCA (NYSE:HCA) has risen 2.3% and is currently trading at $33.97 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 1.9 million shares. This is 0.7 times the current daily average.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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