Health care stocks fall

Fail­ure of the lat­est ef­fort by the GOP trips up the mar­ket.

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Mar­ley Jay

U.S. stocks were di­vided Tues­day as health in­sur­ers de­clined af­ter the fail­ure of the lat­est Repub­li­can health care bill while a big jump in sub­scribers for Net­flix sent tech­nol­ogy and con­sumer-fo­cused com­pa­nies higher.

Stocks spent most of the day lower af­ter the health care push stalled and sev­eral fi­nan­cial firms, in­clud­ing Gold­man Sachs, re­ported un­der­whelm­ing sec­ond-quar­ter re­sults. En­ergy and in­dus­trial com­pa­nies also slipped.

While stocks flirted with larger losses and most of the com­pa­nies listed on the New York Stock Ex­change fell, the gains for tech and con­sumer stocks were enough to send the Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in- dex and Nas­daq com­pos­ite to new highs.

Wall Street did not have a big re­ac­tion to the Repub­li­can health care de­feat, as it did when a re­lated bill failed in March. Af­ter four months of strug­gles over health care, in­vestors don’t ex­pect as much from Con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans and Pres­i­dent Donald Trump on other is­sues.

“Tax changes aren’t likely to take place any time soon and are likely to be smaller than they hoped,” said Kate Warne, an in­vest­ment strate­gist for Ed­ward Jones.

The S&P 500 rose 1.47 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 2,460.61, just above the record it set Fri­day. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age fell 54.99 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 21,574.73. Gold­man Sachs was re­spon­si­ble for al­most all of that loss. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite climbed 29.87 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 6,344.31 as tech com­pa­nies like Facebook and Al­pha­bet, the par­ent of Google, rose. Af­ter a plunge in June, the Nas­daq has surged over the last two weeks.

The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks sank 3.99 points, or 0.3 per­cent, to 1,427.61. That in­dex closed at an all-time high Mon­day.

Sev­eral ma­jor banks re­ported strong sec­ond-quar­ter re­sults, but that wasn’t enough to get in­vestors ex­cited.

Gold­man lost $5.95, or 2.6 per­cent, to $223.31 and Comer­ica fell $1.47, or 2 per­cent, to $73.05. Bank of Amer­ica de­clined 12 cents to $23.90.

Net­flix jumped af­ter the com­pany said it added 5.2 mil­lion sub­scribers over the last three months, and for the first time, it has more sub­scribers out­side the U.S. than in it. Net­flix gained $21.90, or 13.5 per­cent, to $183.60. Among other con­sumer com­pa­nies, Ama­zon added $14.34, or 1.4 per­cent, to $1,024.38.

Facebook gained $3.13, or 2 per­cent, to $162.86 and Al­pha­bet picked up $10.99, or 1.1 per­cent, to $986.85.

Health in­sur­ers de­clined. Aetna fell $1.69, or 1.1 per­cent, to $153.31 and An­them re­treated $2.64, or 1.4 per­cent, to $189.45. Unit­edHealth, the largest com­pany in the in­dus­try, inched higher af­ter it re­ported strong sec­ond-quar­ter re­sults and raised its an­nual out­look. It gained 59 cents to $186.85.

The dol­lar slipped again. It has steadily lost ground for most of this year and the ICE US dol­lar in­dex is now at its low­est level since Au­gust.

The dol­lar slid to 111.98 yen from 112.66 yen. The euro rose to $1.1563 from $1.1480. The euro hasn’t been this strong com­pared to the dol­lar since early 2015.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note slid to 2.26 per­cent from 2.31 per­cent. That also hurt bank stocks.

Bench­mark U.S. crude added 38 cents to $46.40 a bar­rel in New York. Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, rose 42 cents to $48.84 a bar­rel in London.

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