The market is having a bad day so far: the Nasdaq has declined 1.1%; the S&P 500 is trading down 0.6%; and the Dow has fallen 0.3%. 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 down 0.6%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:


CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AEGR)$643.3 million+4.3%
Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC)$4.19 billion-3.7%
IDEXX Laboratories (Nasdaq:IDXX)$5.21 billion-2.6%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:REGN)$16.71 billion-2.3%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN)$18.53 billion-2.3%
Varian (NYSE:VAR)$7.75 billion-1.9%
Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG)$19.47 billion-1.9%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:AEGR) has moved up 4.3% and is currently trading at $26.33 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 227,086 shares. This is consistent with its current daily average.

At $57.97, Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC) has slipped 3.7%. So far today, the company's volume is 217,223 shares, 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months.

IDEXX Laboratories (Nasdaq:IDXX) is currently trading at a share price of $92.82, a 2.6% decline. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 117,004 shares.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:REGN) has decreased to $169 per share, a 2.3% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 225,520 shares, on pace to reach yesterday's volume of 378,302 shares.

Currently trading at $93.19 per share, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXN) has fallen 2.3%. The company's volume for the morning is 239,923 shares. This is 0.2 times its average daily volume.

Varian (NYSE:VAR) is trading at $69.48 per share, down 1.9%. At 97,243 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.1 times its average over the past three months.

Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG) has fallen 1.9% and is currently trading at $480.24 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 172,271 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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Tickers in this Article: AEGR, PCYC, IDXX, REGN, ALXN, VAR, ISRG

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