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Tickers in this Article: ISIS, QCOR, SGEN, GHDX, SHPG, ISRG, ENSG
The market has been doing well after the morning's trading. The Nasdaq is trading up 1.4%; the S&P 500 has increased 1%; and the Dow has climbed 0.9%. 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.

Underperforming the market overall, the Healthcare sector (XLV) is up 1%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
ISIS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ISIS)$1.32 billion-17.6%
Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR)$1.38 billion+7.7%
Seattle Genetics (Nasdaq:SGEN)$2.96 billion+6.5%
Genomic Health (Nasdaq:GHDX)$1.01 billion+6.4%
Shire Plc (Nasdaq:SHPG)$16.22 billion+3.8%
Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG)$20.47 billion+2.7%
Ensign Group (Nasdaq:ENSG)$658.2 million-2.2%
Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

Taking a 17.6% hit, ISIS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ISIS) is currently trading at $10.84 per share. The company's volume is currently 9.5 million shares for the day, 5.4 times its current daily average.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR) is up 7.7% to reach a current price of $24.97 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 3.7 million shares.

Seattle Genetics (Nasdaq:SGEN) has moved up 6.5% and is currently trading at $26.67 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 427,467 shares, 0.7 times its average over the past three months.

Genomic Health (Nasdaq:GHDX) is at $35.23 per share after an increase of 6.4%. The company's volume for the day so far is 219,051 shares. Yesterday, volume was only 113,713 shares.

Shire Plc (Nasdaq:SHPG) is currently trading at $89.78 per share, a 3.8% increase. The company's volume is currently 200,884 shares for the day, in keeping with its current daily average.

After rising 2.7%, Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG) is currently trading at a share price of $526.50. The company's volume for the day so far is 441,056 shares.

Ensign Group (Nasdaq:ENSG) has fallen 2.2% and is currently trading at $30 per share. With 59,366 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is one times its 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. 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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