Filed Under: ,
Tickers in this Article: NPSP, XNPT, VRTX, ACHN, VVUS, MAKO, AFFY
On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has declined 0.2%, the S&P 500 has slipped 0.4% and the Dow has fallen 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 up 0.1% on a bad day for the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
NPS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:NPSP)$788.3 million+15.3%
XenoPort (Nasdaq:XNPT)$511.5 million-6.5%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX)$12.28 billion-5.6%
Achillion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ACHN)$819.5 million+5.3%
VIVUS (Nasdaq:VVUS)$2.2 billion+5.1%
MAKO (Nasdaq:MAKO)$682.5 million-3.9%
Affymax (Nasdaq:AFFY)$939.2 million+3%
Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

NPS Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:NPSP) is currently at $10.53 per share after a dramatic increase of 15.3%. At seven million shares, the company's volume so far today is 5.3 times its current three-month average.

Falling 6.5%, XenoPort (Nasdaq:XNPT) is currently at a share price of $11.14. The company's volume is currently 183,121 shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday.

Currently trading at $53.70 per share, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:VRTX) has fallen 5.6%. At 1.4 million shares, the company's volume so far today is in keeping with its current daily average.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ACHN) has risen 5.3% and is currently trading at $10.93 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 491,178 shares.

VIVUS (Nasdaq:VVUS) has moved up 5.1% and is currently trading at $23.06 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.8 million shares for the day, 0.6 times the current three-month average.

MAKO (Nasdaq:MAKO) has decreased to $15.36 per share, a 3.9% fall. The company's volume for the day so far is 474,467 shares.

Affymax (Nasdaq:AFFY) has increased to a share price of $26.73, a 3% rise. The company's volume is currently 295,348 shares for the day, 0.3 times the average daily volume.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. 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.

comments powered by Disqus

Trading Center