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Tickers in this Article: CNC, WCG, HMSY, AEGR, INFI, DVA, TARO
It's been a bad day for the market after the morning's trading. The Nasdaq is trading down 0.8%; the S&P 500 has declined 0.2%; and the Dow has fallen 0.1%. 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 currently ahead of the overall market, down only 0.1%, and its biggest movers are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Centene (NYSE:CNC)$2.32 billion-9%
WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)$2.2 billion-5.9%
HMS (Nasdaq:HMSY)$2.04 billion+5.4%
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AEGR)$560 million+4.9%
Infinity Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:INFI)$1.13 billion+4.6%
DaVita (NYSE:DVA)$10.21 billion+2.3%
Taro Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TARO)$2.17 billion-1.7%
Broker Summary: Charles Schwab Online Brokerage

Slipping 9%, Centene (NYSE:CNC) is currently trading at $40.93 per share. At 1.2 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.9 times the current daily average.

At $47.96, WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) has slipped 5.9%. The company's volume for the day so far is 984,267 shares. This is 1.7 times the average volume over the last three months.

HMS (Nasdaq:HMSY) has increased to a share price of $24.69, a 5.4% rise. This morning, 583,870 shares have been traded, whereas yesterday, volume was only 554,625 shares.

After an increase of 4.9%, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AEGR) has reached a current price of $23.06. So far today, the company's volume is 292,928 shares.

Increasing 4.6%, Infinity Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:INFI) is trading at $30.01 per share. The company's volume is currently 513,001 shares for the day, 0.3 times the average daily volume.

Rising 2.3%, DaVita (NYSE:DVA) is currently trading at $109.44 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 530,966 shares. This is 0.3 times its average volume over the past three months.

Taro Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TARO) is trading at $47.92 per share, down 1.7%. The company's volume is currently 9,298 shares for the day, with trading activity in keeping with yesterday's while it was 20,808 shares yesterday.

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. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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