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Tickers in this Article: NXTM, VOLC, EW, MASI, SHPG, ABAX, MDVN
So far today, the Nasdaq is trading down 0.5%, the S&P 500 has slipped 0.3% and the Dow is unchanged. 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) has risen 0.2% despite little change in the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
NxStage Medical (Nasdaq:NXTM)7.3 million-8.3%
Volcano (Nasdaq:VOLC).44 billion-5.1%
Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW).99 billion+4.7%
Masimo (Nasdaq:MASI).16 billion+4.1%
Shire Plc (Nasdaq:SHPG).33 billion+2.8%
Abaxis (Nasdaq:ABAX)8.7 million-2.8%
Medivation (Nasdaq:MDVN).95 billion-2.2%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

NxStage Medical (Nasdaq:NXTM) has decreased to $11.13 per share, a 8.3% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 510,127 shares, 1.9 times the current daily average.

Currently trading at $25.38 per share, Volcano (Nasdaq:VOLC) has fallen 5.1%. So far today, the company's volume is 931,247 shares.

Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) is currently trading at $90.57 per share, a 4.7% increase. At 951,427 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.9 times the current three-month average.

Masimo (Nasdaq:MASI) has increased to a share price of $21.15, a 4.1% rise. The company's volume is currently 109,351 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 560,270 shares changed hands.

Increasing 2.8%, Shire Plc (Nasdaq:SHPG) is trading at $89.56 per share. At 158,170 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.6 times the average daily volume.

At $36.24, Abaxis (Nasdaq:ABAX) has slipped 2.8%. So far today, 34,634 shares have changed hands.

Medivation (Nasdaq:MDVN) is trading at $52.40 per share, down 2.2%. The company's volume is currently 371,621 shares for the day, 0.4 times its current three-month average.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. 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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