Healthcare stocks start out 2017 with strong gains — 5 observations

On 2017's first trading day in the United States, healthcare company stocks are creeping up, according to

Here are five observations:

1. These gains reflect a contrast to last year, with the S&P 500's healthcare index falling 4 percent in 2016.

2. By midday Tuesday, healthcare stocks saw some of the greatest gains.

3. Merck & Co., a pharmaceutical company based in Kenilworth, N.J., increased $1.27 to $60.14.

4. Amgen, a biotechnology company based in Deerfield, Ill., increased 2.9 percent to $150.44.

5. San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. saw a 4.2 percent gain to $146.31.

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