The market is having a bad day so far: the Nasdaq has slipped 1.6%; the S&P 500 is trading down 1%; and the Dow is down 1.1%. 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.

The Healthcare sector (XLV) is down 0.9%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:

Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:CBST) $3.02 billion -3.7%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX) $11.36 billion -3.2%
Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC) $4.76 billion -3.1%
MWI Veterinary Supply (Nasdaq:MWIV) $1.34 billion -3%
Amgen (Nasdaq:AMGN) $69.21 billion -2.2%
Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG) $33.86 billion -2.2%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN) $21.95 billion -1.9%

Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:CBST) has fallen 3.7% and is currently trading at $45.49 per share. At 556,051 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.7 times the average daily volume.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX) is down 3.2% to reach $50.94 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 1.4 million shares.

Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC) is trading at $66.22 per share, down 3.1%. The company's volume is currently 204,712 shares for the day, in keeping with its current three-month average.

After a decline of 3%, MWI Veterinary Supply (Nasdaq:MWIV) has hit a share price of $101.86. The company is currently trading a volume of 45,619 shares.

Amgen (Nasdaq:AMGN) has decreased to $87.79 per share, a 2.2% fall. At 2.2 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.7 times its current daily average.

Falling 2.2%, Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG) is currently at a share price of $76.78. So far today, the company's volume is 1.1 million shares.

Slipping 1.9%, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN) is currently trading at $111.56 per share. With 710,652 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.8 times the current three-month average.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF, and learn detailed information about characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Core Growth Allocation

    Find out about the iShares Core Growth Allocation Fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility

    Learn about the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility exchange-traded fund, which invests in low-volatility equities traded on the U.S. stock market.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Should You Follow Millionaires into This Sector?

    Millionaire investors—and those who follow them—should take another look at the current economic situation before making any more investment decisions.
  7. Professionals

    What to do During a Market Correction

    The market has corrected...now what? Here's what you should consider rather than panicking.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Mid-Cap Value

    Take an in-depth look at the Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF, one of the largest and most popular mid-cap funds in the U.S. equity space.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Schwab US Broad Market

    Take an in-depth look at the Schwab U.S. Broad Market ETF, an incredibly low-cost fund based on a wide selection of the U.S. equity market.
  10. Professionals

    Tips for Helping Clients Though Market Corrections

    When the stock market sees a steep drop, clients are bound to get anxious. Here are some tips for talking them off the ledge.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Fractal Markets Hypothesis (FMH)

    An alternative investment theory to Efficient Market Hypothesis ...
  3. Hard-To-Sell Asset

    An asset that is extremely difficult to dispose of either due ...
  4. Sucker Yield

    When an investor has essentially risked all of his capital for ...
  5. PT (Perseroan Terbatas)

    An acronym for Perseroan Terbatas, which is Limited Liability ...
  6. Ltd. (Limited)

    An abbreviation of "limited," Ltd. is a suffix that ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What happens to the shares of stock purchased in a tender offer?

    The shares of stock purchased in a tender offer become the property of the purchaser. From that point forward, the purchaser, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!