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Three health-care stocks to watch as sector hits records

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As health care stocks hit highs, traders pick their favorites

Health-care stocks keep hitting highs.

The XLV health-care ETF crept higher Tuesday to notch a record for the third day in a row. Its breakout on Friday marked the first new high since January.

Mark Newton, founder of Newton Advisors, said the group still has more room to run.

"The XLV has just moved back to new all-time highs which is incredibly important and I think constructive for this group in the near term. Biotech has taken an early lead and making the move, of course, with all the hopes of vaccines," Newton said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Newton said its recent breakthrough could carry the XLV ETF up to $109 to $110. The ETF was trading at more than $106 on Tuesday morning.

Two stocks he sees as having potential for a bigger breakout are PerkinElmer and Neurocrine Biosciences.

PerkinElmer "stock has just recently moved up above the highs seen since 2018," he said. "It was in a lengthy amount of consolidation. This really frees the stock up to move up to levels right near $115 to $120, in my view, so very positive there."

A move to $120 implies 8% upside for PerkinElmer, which was trading just above $111 on Tuesday.

For Neurocrine Biosciences, he sees its move to all-time highs as a positive that could lift it to $144. The stock was trading close to $132 on Tuesday.

Danielle Shay, director of options at Simpler Trading, sees potential long-term opportunity in investing in the biotech space through the XBI biotech ETF. That ETF is up 24% this year.

"If you're a little bit more of an aggressive trader and like to trade on more of an intraday basis, [stocks] like Moderna look absolutely amazing. Moderna has a ton of high short interest right now," Shay said during the same segment. "It could have some great news coming out. This could really set off a great short squeeze to the upside."

Moderna is one of the stocks benefiting from positive coronavirus vaccine news. Last week, the company said its early stage human trial had produced a "robust" immune response. Shares of Moderna are up 310% this year.