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Market Extra: Why some see unloved health-care stocks as a ‘screaming’ buy

Investors looking for bargains at a time when stocks are hitting all-time highs and valuations are running above historical averages need only to look at the health-care sector, according to some analysts.

A year of turmoil and price declines, especially in biotech stocks, turned the sector whose earnings held up over the past year into a compelling buying opportunity, according to Jim Tierney, chief investment officer of the Concentrated U.S. Growth fund at AllianceBernstein.

The S&P 500 health-care sector is down 1.3% over the past 12 months, compared with a 3.6% gain for the broader S&P 500 index SPX, +0.16% and a 20% gain for utilities, which are prized for high dividends and perceived safety.

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