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Health-Care Equipment's Quickening Pulse

S&P says the group's strong stock-price performance and positive fundamentals point to the potential for further gains

The S&P 1500 Health Care Equipment subindustry index has seen improving momentum since it was featured in a January, 2007, Sector Watch (BusinessWeek.com, 1/16/07). . This group's trailing 12-month price performance is now in the top 30% of all subindustry indexes in the S&P 1500. Year to date through Feb. 14, the S&P Health Care Equipment index slipped 0.5% vs. an 8% decline for the S&P 1500. During 2007, this subindustry index gained 10.4% to the broader market's climb of 3.6%.

Take a look at the accompanying chart. As a reminder, the jagged blue line represents the subindustry index's rolling 52-week price performance as compared with the 52-week performance for the S&P 1500. Any point above 100 indicates market outperformance over the prior year, while points below 100 indicate market underperformance. The red line is a rolling 39-week moving average, while the two green bands indicate one standard deviation above and below the index's 17-year mean relative strength.