Four stocks have avoided the market crush to hit new highs

Health-care stocks have found new life as markets crater.

UnitedHealth and Eli Lilly roared to record highs on Tuesday, while Pfizer and Merck moved to their highest levels since 2001, although they were all down at least 1 percent in Thursday's premarket.

Mark Newton, technical analyst at Newton Advisors, said Tuesday the overall health-care trade still looks like a solid play.

"We haven't seen any signs of sufficient deterioration that would make you want to avoid health care at this point so it's still an area where people want to rotate out of technology," Newton said on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

The health care sector is one of the best performers over the past month and the top mover of the year. The XLV health care ETF is up 1 percent over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has tumbled nearly 6 percent.

"One stock in particular I like is Eli Lilly," said Newton. "Near-term we're seeing a very decent pattern here at work. You've seen this little cup-and-handle pattern which recently just broke out last week."

In technical analysis, a cup is formed when a stock falls then bounces back to the high at the beginning of the pattern, followed by a short drop which represents a handle. The move is typically seen as a consolidation before a breakout.

"We're seeing this as a real safe haven in a time when people are looking for signs of safety during this volatility," said Newton. "I would buy [Eli Lilly] down to $116 and I think we get to $120 to $125 so certainly a lot more attractive than many tech names out there given the volatility."

Eli Lilly closed Tuesday's session at $116.52. It would need to rally 3 percent to get to $120.

Michael Bapis, managing director at Vios Advisors at Rockefeller Capital Management, is bullish on the entire group as an alternative to the high-growth, high-premium tech trade.

"The earnings are there," Bapis said on "Trading Nation" on Tuesday. "Companies like Pfizer, … you're still getting almost a 4 percent dividend yield, trading at 15 times earnings and growing those earnings over the next three years so it's definitely a place to hide in volatile markets and in the overall market rotation."

The XLV ETF trades at 16 times forward earnings and has a dividend yield of 1.4 percent.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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