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Tickers in this Article: BMRN, ALXN, PCYC, VVUS, BCR, CELG, HSIC
The market is having a good day so far: the Nasdaq has risen 2.3%; the S&P 500 is up 1.8%; and the Dow has climbed 1.9%. 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 up 1.5%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
BioMarin Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq:BMRN).09 billion+6%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN).21 billion+5.7%
Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC).02 billion+5.3%
VIVUS (Nasdaq:VVUS).35 billion-4.4%
CR (NYSE:BCR).05 billion+2.9%
Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG).19 billion+2.8%
Henry Schein (Nasdaq:HSIC).08 billion+2.6%
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After rising 6%, BioMarin Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq:BMRN) is currently trading at a share price of $52.15. So far today, the company's volume is 804,821 shares. This is more trading activity than there was yesterday.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN) has risen 5.7% and is currently trading at $99.12 per share. The company's volume is currently 872,890 shares for the day, 0.8 times the current three-month average.

Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC) is at $60.83 per share after an increase of 5.3%. So far today, the company's volume is 225,359 shares.

VIVUS (Nasdaq:VVUS) is trading at $12.83 per share, down 4.4%. At 2.9 million shares, the company's volume so far today is in line with the current daily average.

After an increase of 2.9%, CR (NYSE:BCR) has reached a current price of $100.50. The company's volume is currently 405,023 shares.

Celgene (Nasdaq:CELG) has risen 2.8% to hit a current price of $80.66 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.5 million shares, consistent with its average over the last three months.

Henry Schein (Nasdaq:HSIC) is up 2.6% to reach a current price of $82.48 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 164,538 shares.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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.

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