On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has slipped 2%, the S&P 500 is trading down 1.9% and the Dow is down 1.4%. 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 1.5%, and its biggest movers are currently:

CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Halozyme Therapeutics (Nasdaq:HALO)$622.1 million+29.2%
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AEGR)$627.2 million+3.5%
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:SPPI)$674.1 million+3.5%
Life Technologies (Nasdaq:LIFE)$8.83 billion-3.4%
ResMed (NYSE:RMD)$6.04 billion-2.7%
MWI Veterinary Supply (Nasdaq:MWIV)$1.45 billion-2.2%
Thermo Fisher (NYSE:TMO)$23.47 billion-1.9%
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Halozyme Therapeutics (Nasdaq:HALO) rose a significant 29.2% to reach $7.13 per share. So far today, 4.9 million shares have changed hands.

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AEGR) has increased to a share price of $25.49, a 3.5% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 409,352 shares, one times its average over the past three months.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:SPPI) has risen 3.5% and is currently trading at $11.69 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 705,045 shares.

After a decline of 3.4%, Life Technologies (Nasdaq:LIFE) has hit a share price of $49.60. The company's volume is currently 1.7 million shares for the day, 0.6 times the average daily volume.

ResMed (NYSE:RMD) is trading at $41.09 per share, down 2.7%. The company's volume for the day so far is 787,559 shares.

Falling 2.2%, MWI Veterinary Supply (Nasdaq:MWIV) is currently at a share price of $110.99. With 56,236 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 1.8 times the current three-month average.

Slipping 1.9%, Thermo Fisher (NYSE:TMO) is currently trading at $63.88 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million shares.

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. 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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Tickers in this Article: HALO, AEGR, SPPI, LIFE, RMD, MWIV, TMO

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