Thursday Sector Leaders: Healthcare, Utilities

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Looking at the sectors faring best as of midday Thursday, shares of Healthcare companies are outperforming other sectors, up 1.1%. Within the sector, Varian Medical Systems Inc (Symbol: VAR) and Intuitive Surgical Inc (Symbol: ISRG) are two large stocks leading the way, showing a gain of 13.7% and 2.9%, respectively. Among healthcare ETFs , one ETF following the sector is the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (Symbol: XLV), which is up 0.9% on the day, and up 8.44% year-to-date. Varian Medical Systems Inc, meanwhile, is up 15.68% year-to-date, and Intuitive Surgical Inc is up 23.38% year-to-date. Combined, VAR and ISRG make up approximately 1.8% of the underlying holdings of XLV.

The next best performing sector is the Utilities sector, up 0.9%. Among large Utilities stocks, FirstEnergy Corp (Symbol: FE) and AES Corp. (Symbol: AES) are the most notable, showing a gain of 3.6% and 2.8%, respectively. One ETF closely tracking Utilities stocks is the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF ( XLU ), which is up 0.8% in midday trading, and down 3.88% on a year-to-date basis. FirstEnergy Corp, meanwhile, is up 5.19% year-to-date, and AES Corp. is up 5.91% year-to-date. Combined, FE and AES make up approximately 3.5% of the underlying holdings of XLU.

Comparing these stocks and ETFs on a trailing twelve month basis, below is a relative stock price performance chart, with each of the symbols shown in a different color as labeled in the legend at the bottom:

Energy Stock Channel Here’s a snapshot of how the S&P 500 components within the various sectors are faring in afternoon trading on Thursday. As you can see, four sectors are up on the day, while three sectors are down.

Sector % Change
Healthcare +1.1%
Utilities +0.9%
Technology & Communications +0.1%
Industrial +0.1%
Consumer Products 0.0%
Materials -0.0%
Services -0.1%
Financial -0.3%
Energy -0.8%

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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