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A Good Prognosis for Health-Care Stocks

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We have a prescription for profits: health care.

With the S&P 500 index merely treading water so far this year, trading profits are proving elusive -- unless you're long health care. It's the single best-performing sector year-to-date.

Health care also has the strongest top line growth of any sector, based on Bloomberg calculations using analyst forecasts.

In other words, health-care stocks are outperforming because health-care companies are generating the highest sales growth. Growth is evenly spread across the sector, as are returns. Health care's top three performers year-to-date operate completely unrelated businesses: drugs, devices and treatment:

Broad-based growth across the sector argues for balanced, or equal-weighted exposure. Whereas most ETFs are capitalization-weighted (meaning larger companies carry a higher weighting in the index), the Guggenheim Healthcare ETF (RYH ) is equal weighted. Its top ten holdings account for just 20 percent of the portfolio and include biotech, pharmaceuticals, devices, services and software.