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The sector that is down the least today, or up slightly if you look away for five minutes, is the Healthcare Index (HCX.X). This could be suggesting that some defensive sectors are coming back into vogue.

S&P Healthcare Index Chart - 60-minute chart

The Healthcare Index's chart resembles a lot of other sectors, except it's not breaking down today. Prices look like they are getting ready to test today's high at 785 and should find some support around 772. The 50-period moving average is turning up and should offer some additional support over the next couple of days. An additional bullish argument can be found on the point and figure chart.

S&P Healthcare Index Point and Figure Chart

The point and figure chart for HCX is setting up to issue a buy signal if prices can close above 785. Until then it's resistance, but keep an eye on it.

ICU Medical

Since one of the best performing sectors today is the Healthcare Index (HCX.X), I went looking for a healthcare stock that is showing some strength. What I came up with was ICU Medical (NASD:ICUI).

ICU Medical Chart - daily

ICU is in a nice up trend that dates back to November of 2000. The 50-day moving average is above the 200-day moving average, and they are both rising. Prices have retraced off their highs, and are now consolidating. If prices can jump, they should turn the stochastic up from oversold territory. A look at the point and figure chart shows a similar picture.

ICU Medical Point and Figure

ICUI experienced a bullish triple top breakout, and then retraced slightly. The LONG-TERM bullish price objective is 53. As nice as this chart looks, I'm not overly excited about taking on a long position right now with the weakness in the overall market. Until the big picture changes I'm just going to monitor this to see if it breaks above yesterday's high of 33 1/2. I'm also going to need some more confirmation about the strength in HCX.

Jeffery Canavan
Assistant Analyst

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