US stocks drop, hospitals surge on pro-Obamacare court ruling

GMT 02:20 2015 Friday ,26 June

Arab Today, arab today US stocks drop, hospitals surge on pro-Obamacare court ruling

US stocks
New York - AFP

Health stocks soared Thursday after the Supreme Court upheld a key provision of President Barack Obama's health care reform, but the broader market fell on worries of a Greek default.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 75.71 (0.42 percent) to 17,890.36.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 6.27 (0.30 percent) to 2,102.31, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 10.22 (0.20 percent) at 5,112.19.

Hospital stocks like HCA Holdings (+8.8 percent) and Tenet Healthcare (+12.2 percent) benefited from the Supreme Court ruling that the federal government has authority to subsidize health insurance by giving tax credits to consumers nationwide.

The provision is a key tenet of the Obama plan, guaranteeing insurance coverage to millions of Americans.

But Greece and its international creditors again failed to break the deadlock in emergency talks, again raising the prospect of a messy Greek debt default at the end of the month.

Health insurers also rose, not only due to the Supreme Court ruling on the Obama plan, but on reports of likely consolidation in the sector.

Health insurer Humana jumped 7.1 percent following a Bloomberg report that it could reach a deal as soon as this weekend to be acquired by industry giant Aetna, which gained 4.0 percent. Anthem and Cigna, which have been seen as possible merger partners in the insurance sector, rose 1.4 percent and 2.4 percent.

IAC/InterActiveCorp jumped 5.1 percent after announcing plans for an inital public offering of The Match Group, which encompasses five online dating programs. The company also said it had promoted Joey Levin, formerly head of search and applications, to chief executive.

Drug company Eli Lilly bolted 3.1 percent higher following a victory in a British patent case that protects the exclusivity of its Alimta vitamin regimen used in cancer treatment.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.40 percent from 2.37 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.17 percent from 3.15 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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