This morning's trading has marked a bad day for the market so far. The Nasdaq has decreased 0.4%; the S&P 500 has slipped 0.2%; and the Dow is trading down 0.2%. 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 0.2%, and its biggest movers are currently:
|Company||Market Cap||Percentage Change|
|Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR)||$1.63 billion||-6.4%|
|Puma Biotechnology (NYSE:PBYI)||$529.4 million||+6.4%|
|Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:REGN)||$16.84 billion||-3.7%|
|WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc (NYSE:WX)||$1.15 billion||+3.1%|
|Salix (Nasdaq:SLXP)||$2.43 billion||+2.9%|
|Dr. Reddy\'s Laboratories Limited (NYSE:RDY)||$5.43 billion||+1.9%|
|Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC)||$3.72 billion||-1.8%|
Slipping 6.4%, Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR) is currently trading at $26.36 per share. The company's volume is currently 2.5 million shares for the day, 1.6 times its current three-month average.
After rising 6.4%, Puma Biotechnology (NYSE:PBYI) is currently trading at a share price of $20.73. So far today, 33,340 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday's volume was only 2,920 shares.
At $180.81, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:REGN) has slipped 3.7%. The company's volume is currently 531,970 shares for the day, in line with the current daily average.
WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc (NYSE:WX) has increased to a share price of $16.93, a 3.1% rise. The company's volume for the day so far is 480,308 shares.
Increasing 2.9%, Salix (Nasdaq:SLXP) is trading at $42.44 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 338,256 shares, 0.6 times the current three-month average.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited (NYSE:RDY) is up 1.9% to reach a current price of $33.49 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 59,606 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 169,266 shares changed hands.
Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq:PCYC) has decreased to $53.13 per share, a 1.8% fall. At 90,469 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times the average daily volume.
The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. 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.