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Tickers in this Article: AFFY, THRX, COV, NXTM, GHDX, ONXX, MDVN
The Nasdaq has risen 0.9%, the S&P 500 has moved up 0.5% and the Dow is trading up 0.2%, marking a bad morning for the market. 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 0.7%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Affymax (Nasdaq:AFFY)$772.7 million+9.6%
Theravance (Nasdaq:THRX)$1.99 billion+7.8%
Covidien (NYSE:COV)$25.62 billion+5.4%
NxStage Medical (Nasdaq:NXTM)$691.4 million-5.4%
Genomic Health (Nasdaq:GHDX)$804.1 million+5%
Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ONXX)$4.87 billion+3.9%
Medivation (Nasdaq:MDVN)$3.24 billion+3.8%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

Affymax (Nasdaq:AFFY) has increased to a share price of $23.40, a 9.6% rise. At 974,853 shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.1 times the current three-month average.

Rising 7.8%, Theravance (Nasdaq:THRX) is currently trading at $21.93 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 226,512 shares.

Covidien (NYSE:COV) is currently trading at $56.24 per share, a 5.4% increase. The company's volume is currently 2.2 million shares for the day, 0.7 times the current daily average.

Falling 5.4%, NxStage Medical (Nasdaq:NXTM) is currently at a share price of $11.10. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 206,344 shares.

Genomic Health (Nasdaq:GHDX) has moved up 5% and is currently trading at $27.73 per share. The company's volume is currently 291,414 shares for the day, one times its average over the past three months.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ONXX) is up 3.9% to reach a current price of $75.37 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 342,436 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 927,917 shares.

Medivation (Nasdaq:MDVN) is at $45.65 per share after an increase of 3.8%. So far today, the company's volume is 339,649 shares, 0.3 times the average daily volume.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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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