Health Care Stocks Scratch Out Modest Gains

Health care stocks were set to again finish on positive ground, with the NYSE Health Care Index adding about 0.5% while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also were up about 0.5% as a group.

In company news, Illumina (ILMN) jumped out to a big gain early Tuesday after the genetic analysis company introduced its NovaSeq series, a new and scalable sequencing device expected to eventually reduce the price of genome-sequencing to around $100.

The company described NovaSeq as the most powerful sequencer it has ever produced, explaining it was designed to allow researchers to “to access next-generation sequencing technology and more easily conduct large-scale genomics projects with greater sample volumes, or more breadth and depth in the genome.”

The NovaSeq 5000 and NovaSeq 6000 systems are priced at $850,000 and $985,000, respectively. The company anticipates it will begin shipping the 6000 system in March while the 5000 system is slated to debut by mid-year.

ILMN shares were up almost 17% this afternoon at $165.00, retracing much of an earlier advance to $167.10 a share following a small, mid-day retreat for the stock.

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