3 Health Care Stocks To Watch Right Now

3 Health Care Stocks To Add To Your Watchlist Today

It has not been an easy time for investors in the stock market this year. Many investor favorites during the pandemic have not performed well over the past year. We also saw mixed earnings from the retail sector that would further exacerbate the lack of confidence among investors lately. With that being said, health care stocks are among the few that are relatively immune to these negative sentiments. After all, health care is a necessity regardless of economic conditions.

During the peak of the pandemic, many health care stocks soared to unparalleled levels when their products and services were in demand. Even now, it appears that coronavirus vaccines will continue to be relevant in the near future. On Tuesday, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded emergency use authorization to include a booster dose in children 5 through 11 years of age. To date, more than 8 million 5-11 year-olds in the country have completed a primary series and will be eligible for the booster.

It is also no secret that there is a shortage of infant or baby formula in the U.S. As there are millions of babies that rely on these products for nutrition, many American parents are furious. Some reports suggest Abbott’s (NYSE: ABT) baby formula factory which was closed in February may resume operations as soon as next week. It could take about two months until these products arrive in stores. Nevertheless, it is a positive development that is worth noting right now. Overall, the health care sector has played a significant role in our lives and will likely continue to do so. Keeping that in mind, here are three top health care stocks to watch in the stock market today.

Health Care Stocks To Watch Right Now

Eli Lilly And Co

Eli Lilly and Company engages in the discovery, development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of pharmaceutical products across the world. For a sense of scale, the company has offices in 18 countries while its products are sold in approximately 125 countries. In brief, the company’s portfolio includes treatments for various diseases including diabetes, cancer, endocrine-related illnesses, and Covid-19 to name a few. LLY stock has climbed more than 40% over the past year.

In May, there was a string of U.S. FDA approvals that gained the attention of many investors. For starters, the company’s Mounjaro™ (tirzepatide) injection gained approval last week. This is its new once-weekly GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist. The drug will be an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Besides that, Eli Lilly and Company and Incyte (NASDAQ: INCY) also recently announced the FDA approval of OLUMIANT (baricitinib). The drug is for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized adults. Specifically, for patients requiring supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The prescription will be a recommended dose of 4-mg once daily for 14 days or until hospital discharge. Given these exciting developments, do you think LLY stock will have more room to run?

LLY stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Merck & Co

Another top name in the health care industry today is Merck. This is a multinational pharmaceutical company that has been leading the industry for over 130 years. Over the years, the company has brought many life-saving medicines and vaccines to billions of people around the globe. It also continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten both people and animals. This would include cancer, infectious diseases, and emerging animal diseases.

Late in April, the company announced that the European Commission has approved KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy. The drug was approved as a monotherapy for the treatment of microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or deficient mismatch repair (dMMR) tumors in adults. In fact, this is the second approval for the drug in Europe based on the MSI-H/dMMR biomarker. As such, KEYTRUDA is also approved for the first-line treatment of metastatic MSI-H or dMMR colorectal cancer in adults.

Financially, Merck has also shown the ability to sustain strong business momentum. During its first quarter, the company’s worldwide sales from continuing operations were $15.9 billion, up 50% year-over-year. Out of which, KEYTRUDA sales grew 23% to 4.8 billion and GARDASIL sales grew 59% to $1.5 billion. In light of this, Merck was able to raise its full-year 2022 worldwide sales outlook to between $56.9 billion and $58.1 billion. Safe to say, Merck appears to be in a prime position for further growth in the long run. With that in mind, would you consider adding MRK stock to your watchlist?

MRK stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Bristol-Myers Squibb

Third on the list is Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). Its products cater to a range of therapeutic classes, which include oncology, immunology, cardiovascular, and fibrosis. The Company’s pharmaceutical products include chemically-synthesized or small molecule drugs and products produced from biological processes, called biologics. Impressively, BMY stock has been on a steady climb since the start of the year, rising more than 22% within the period.

Yesterday, BMY reaffirmed its commitment to delivering transformational therapies for patients in presentations at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting and the European Hematology Association Congress. In summary, the company announced long-term data from Opdivo plus Yervoy-based combinations that demonstrate the durable survival in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and metastatic melanoma. This includes results from the landmark five-year analysis of CheckMate-227.

Additionally, there was also new and long-term data from MEDALIST and BELIEVE studies that highlighted the continuous benefit of Reblozyl (luspatercept-aamt) for patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. To say the least, BMY has made significant progress for patients with cancer and blood disorders over the past few years. Considering these encouraging developments, would you say that BMY stock is a top health care stock to watch now?

BMY stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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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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