Investors tend to stick with what works.  Perhaps that explains why they continue to flock to health care stocks.  The sector was second-best performer in 2013, rallying 38.7%, and early into 2014 it’s already in the No. 1 spot with a 1.7% gain.  

Health care is also a winner today, helping to lift the market out of a morning slump.  Of the 55 health care names in the S&P 500, 17 stocks, or about one-third, are touching all-time highs. They include insurers (AET) and (CI), along with a slew of equipment makers, among them (STJ), (ZMH), (COV), (VAR) and (SYK).  Here’s a list:

S&P 500: Health Care Record Highs

Ticker

Security

Last

Change

%Chg

(ALXN) Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

133.29

-0.71

-0.53%

(ABC) AmerisourceBergen Corporation

71.44

0.30

0.42%

(MCK) McKesson Corporation

175.42

5.61

3.30%

(BDX) Becton, Dickinson and Company

111.91

0.83

0.75%

(STJ) St. Jude Medical, Inc.

65.63

0.23

0.34%

(ZMH) Zimmer Holdings, Inc.

97.02

-0.41

-0.42%

(CFN) CareFusion Corporation

40.93

0.62

1.54%

(COV) Covidien Plc

68.81

0.56

0.82%

(VAR) Varian Medical Systems, Inc.

81.22

1.18

1.47%

(SYK) Stryker Corporation

76.85

-0.17

-0.22%

(ESRX) Express Scripts Holding Company

71.99

0.96

1.35%

(DVA) DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

65.35

-0.09

-0.14%

(TMO) Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

114.01

-0.03

-0.03%

(AET) Aetna Inc.

71.04

1.90

2.74%

(CI) Cigna Corporation

90.02

2.11

2.40%

(ACT) Actavis Plc

179.77

2.66

1.50%

(PRGO) Perrigo Co. Plc

158.25

0.22

0.14%