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Tickers in this Article: ALGN, BRLI, PCYC, PBYI, TARO, UHS, CNC
The Nasdaq has increased 0.7%, the S&P 500 is up 0.3% and the Dow is trading up 0.3% on a good day for the market so far. 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 relatively unchanged on a good day for the market overall. So far, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN)$2.13 billion-5.9%
Bio-Reference Laboratories (Nasdaq:BRLI)$756.5 million+5.4%
Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC)$3.73 billion+4.2%
Puma Biotechnology (NYSE:PBYI)$568.4 million-3%
Taro Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TARO)$2.05 billion-1.8%
Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS)$4.39 billion+1.4%
Centene (NYSE:CNC)$2.34 billion-1.2%
Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

Align Technology (Nasdaq:ALGN) has decreased to $24.61 per share, a 5.9% fall. This morning, 3.8 million shares have been traded, which is more trading activity than there was yesterday.

Bio-Reference Laboratories (Nasdaq:BRLI) has risen 5.4% to hit a current price of $28.79 per share. So far today, 403,684 shares have changed hands.

Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC) has increased to a share price of $55.86, a 4.2% rise. At 157,075 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its average over the past three months.

Slipping 3%, Puma Biotechnology (NYSE:PBYI) is currently trading at $19.24 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 42,846 shares. This is 0.7 times its average daily volume.

Taro Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TARO) has fallen 1.8% and is currently trading at $45.15 per share. At 8,137 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with the volume from yesterday which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 18,594 shares.

Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS) is currently trading at $45.80 per share, a 1.4% increase. The company is currently trading a volume of 407,322 shares.

Centene (NYSE:CNC) is trading at $44.75 per share, down 1.2%. The company's volume is currently 190,310 shares for the day, 0.4 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. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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