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Health care sector falls as likelihood of ACA repeal rises; UnitedHealth's stock leads Dow losers
The health care sector traded broadly lower Tuesday, amid concerns over the potential effects of the Graham-Cassidy bill, which some analysts say is becoming increasingly likely to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF shed 0.9% in afternoon trade, with 56 of its 62 components trading lower. Among the XLV's most heavily-weighted components, UnitedHealth Group's stock dropped 1.8% to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average's decliners. The price decline of $3.61 was shaving 25 points off the Dow, which was up 44 points. Analyst Ana Gupte at Leerink Research said the bill could lead to "greater earnings downside in the near term than previous House and Senate bills for ACA-levered stocks." Among companies that Gupte said are at particular risk, shares of Centene Corp. slumped 4.6% and Molina Healthcare Inc. gave up 6.1%. Elsewhere, shares of Aetna Inc. fell 3.4%, Humana Inc. slid 3.2%, Cigna Corp. declined 1.9% and Anthem Inc. was down 2.0%. Gupte said diversified managed care organizations (MCOs) like Humana and Cigna are more defensive, though exposure should be manageable for UnitedHealth, Aetna and Anthem. The XLV has gained 4.3% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has tacked on 2.2%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept 15
Sept 15 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 8
points lower on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: Britain's markets watchdog has rejected calls to
publish a report into allegations Royal Bank of Scotland bankrupted
small companies to pick up their assets on the cheap, saying it would instead
release a detailed summary soon.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Royal Dutch Shell Plc may begin resuming
production at its 325,700-barrel-per-day (bp
Retailers and energy companies lead US stocks a bit higher
U.S. stocks are barely lower Wednesday morning as banks and technology companies give back some of their gains from earlier in the week.
Disney price target cut at UBS as company faces new streaming costs, impact of Hurricane Irma
Analysts at UBS lowered their 2017 and 2018 earnings estimates for Walt Disney Co. , also dropping the 12-month price target to $122 from $126 on Friday after Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told investors that the company's earnings growth would be stagnant. During a Bank of America media, communications and entertainment conference on Thursday, Iger told those in attendance that 2017 earnings would be roughly in line with the prior year's earnings, lowering expectations from previous guidance of modest growth. Disney shares took a 5% slide during intraday trading on Thursday following Iger's comments. The lower earnings expectations, Iger said, are due, in part, to expenses tied to Disney's BAMTech investment for its stand alone streaming service and impacts Disney parks are seeing from Hurricane Irma. Lead UBS analyst Doug Mitchelson also mentioned in a note to investors lower ratings at Disney's ABC network and tough content and licensing comparisons. "Many investors are questioning how Disney's valuation can expand while estimates are coming down due to investments in the future," Mitchelson wrote, noting the irony as investors have demanded media companies stop licensing content and build streaming platforms of their own. "This is compounded by the uncertainty as to the pace of decline of the pay TV bundle and the impacts of video fragmentation. As Disney officially starts its streaming shift, Mitchelson said it's critical that ESPN demonstrate pricing power, that cable losses are shored up by virtual multichannel video programming distributors, that content and the parks business continues executing, and that Disney displays cost discipline. Disney shares have declined nearly 7% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 index is up 10% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 10%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Asian shares mostly lower on hurricane, North Korea worries
U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading Thursday, pulled down by insurers and other financial companies as investors weighed the prospects of big losses for the sector from Hurricane Irma.
Markets Right Now: Stocks slip in midday trading
U.S. stocks edged lower in midday trading, pulled down by insurers and other financial companies as investors weighed the prospects of big losses from Hurricane Irma.
Markets Right Now: Stocks taking small losses at midday
U.S. stocks are slightly lower in midday trading as financial and energy companies slip while industrial firms rise
Stocks decline as storm pressures insurers and oil companies
US stocks are mostly lower, with energy and insurance companies falling as investors anticipate damage from Tropical Storm Harvey
Insurance stocks clobbered as investors await loss estimates for hurricane Harvey
Insurance stocks were mostly lower Monday, as investors awaited the initial estimates of losses from hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas over the weekend. "While it is early days and Harvey is expected to bring even more rain and flooding for another week, our best guess at this point is Harvey could result in $10-$20bn of industry insured losses making it one of the top 10 most costly hurricanes to hit the U.S.," J.P. Morgan analyst Sarah DeWitt wrote in a Monday note. CreditSights analysts said the most vulnerable lines of business include allied lines, commercial and private auto, commercial multiple peril, homeowners and farmowners multiple peril, crop mulitple peril, private crop, fire, flood and inland marine. Among the companies that are most exposed to the region, Allstate Corp. shares fell 1.7%, Progressive Corp. shares were down 2.5%, Chubb Ltd. fell 1.6%, CNA Financial Corp. was down 0.5% and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. was down 2%. RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. fell 1.8% and Everest Re Group Ltd. fell 2.5%. Dow Jones Industrial Average component Travelers Cos. Inc. fell 3%, to shave about 20 points off the price-weighted index. The S&P 500 was flat. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Amazon and Whole Foods will lower prices on organic items like avocados and baby kale on Monday
Amazon.com Inc.'s acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. will close on Monday, August 28, and prices on items including organic avocados, bananas, organic baby kale and organic salmon will come down on that day. The goal, according to a Thursday release from both companies, is to "make organic food more affordable for everyone." The companies will also start to integrate Amazon Prime into Whole Foods' point-of-sale system on Monday. "[W]e will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together," said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon worldwide consumer, in a statement. Also in the future, Whole Foods private label products like 365 Everyday Value and Whole Paws will be available through Amazon, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now. And Amazon lockers will be available at select Whole Foods stores. The companies say they will hire additional staff as new stores open, and Whole Foods will continue to operate beneath that brand. John Mackey will stay on as chief executive and the Whole Foods headquarters will remain in Austin, TX. Amazon shares are up nearly 27% for the year so far, Whole Foods shares are up 36.5% for the period, and the S&P 500 index is up 9.1% for 2017 to date.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Lowe's misses earnings estimates, forecasts slower margins growth
(Reuters) - Lowe's Companies Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly earnings on Wednesday and warned of slower growth in profit margins as it spends more on marketing and staffing to take advantage of a robust home improvement market.
Home-builders ETF down after new-home sales data
Exchange-traded funds that track home-building stocks fell on Wednesday, after data showed that new-home sales fell 9.4% in July, a steeper fall than had been expected. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF lost 0.9%, while the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF was down 0.5%. The SPDR fund remains up more than 10% in 2017, although it has dropped 3.5% over the past month. Sales of newly constructed homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That represented a seven-month low, and it was under the 608,000 pace that had been forecast. The sector was also pressured by Lowe's Companies Inc. , which fell 5.7% in the wake of lower-than-expected results. Home Depot fell 1.5%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Ulta Beauty shares slide 3.6% as Stifel cuts stock price target by 17%
Ulta Beauty Inc. shares fell 3.6% Monday, after Stifel analysts cut their stock price target by 17% to $270 from $325, on concerns that the U.S. beauty category is showing slowing growth, while juggernaut Amazon.com Inc. is expanding into prestige brands. "Numerous data points suggest U.S. beauty category growth slowed in 2Q17, including from retailers Macy's and Sephora, beauty companies L'Oréal and e.l.f. Beauty , and scanner data measuring sales trends in food, drug, and mass channels," said analysts led by Mark Astrachan. Slowing makeup and mass-priced product sales are key for Ulta, as each category accounts for about 50% and 40% of sales, he said. At the same time, L'Oreal's CEO hinted on the company's earnings call that it might be open to selling on Amazon, while Estee Lauder declined to rule out eventual availability on Amazon. "We remain favorable on Ulta's longer-term growth trajectory anticipating continued share gains of beauty retail sales, benefiting from the accelerating shift from traditional sales channels to specialty retailers, online, and mobile, and attributable to Ulta's increasing focus on its loyalty program, targeted promotions, and new credit card program,: said Stifel. "That said, we believe near-term trading could result in more downside than upside given broader multiple contraction in retail due to slowing category growth and fears of increased competition from Amazon." Ulta shares have fallen 7.6% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
A midday rally fades as sporting goods stocks are penalized
US stocks can't maintain a midday rally and finish lower as sporting goods companies sink following disappointing results from Foot Locker and Hibbett Sports
How major US stock market indexes fared Thursday
U.S. stocks closed lower for the third day in a row Thursday, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the last year
How major US stock market indexes fared Thursday
U.S. stocks closed lower for the third day in a row Thursday, led by declines in technology companies and banks, two of the highest-performing sectors over the last year.
US stocks slip, with bigger losses for smaller companies
U.S. stocks are edging lower in early trading Thursday as banks, technology and health companies fall.
UPDATE 3-Court allows Democratic states to defend Obamacare payments
WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on
Tuesday allowed Democratic state attorneys general to defend
subsidy payments to insurance companies under the Obamacare
healthcare law, a critical part of funding for the statute that
President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off.
Markets Right Now: Stocks fade on weak retail results
Stocks are closing mostly lower after Amazon and other big companies reported quarterly results that disappointed investors.
Stocks sag following disappointing profit reports
U.S. stocks followed other markets lower on Friday after Amazon and several other big companies reported quarterly results that underwhelmed investors
Markets Right Now: Weak retail earnings send US stocks lower
U.S. stocks are mostly lower after Amazon and several other big companies reported quarterly results that disappointed investors.
Merck expects June cyberattack to affect company's 2017 financial performance
Merck & Co. Inc. said Friday that a network cyberattack in late June caused it to issue conservative 2017 guidance. The June 27 cyberattack disrupted the company's global operations, including manufacturing, research and sales, and Merck said it has been working to restore operations. Merck said it "does not yet know the magnitude of the impact of the disruption," but that guidance would have been higher if not for the cyberattack's impact. Merck said it can continue to supply its top products, including cancer drug Keytruda and diabetes drug Januvia, but there will be temporary delays in some other products in certain markets. Merck, which reported second-quarter profit and revenue beats on Friday, also affirmed its 2017 adjusted EPS outlook of $3.76 to $3.88, with Chief Financial Officer Robert Davis saying that "the strength of the business has allowed us to absorb the potential impact from the cyber attack," according to the FactSet earnings call transcript. Merck was one of several global companies hit by massive cyberattacks in late June. Merck shares lifted 0.4% in premarket trade Friday. Shares surged 2.2% over the last three months, compared with a 3.8% rise in the S&P 500 .Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
How major US stock market indexes fared on Monday
US stocks finished barely lower Friday as energy companies fell with oil prices and a 10-day rally for technology companies came to an end
Dow struggles to take flight as Wall Street focuses on earnings; Fed ahead
The U.S. stock market opened slightly lower on Monday to start a week packed with corporate earnings releases and a midweek meeting of the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading less than 0.1% lower at 21,557, the S&P 500 index was off about 0.1% at 2,470. The Nasdaq Composite Index , meanwhile, was trading flat at 6,390. Wall Street investors were paying attention to weakness in the dollar , and conversely strength in the euro . A weaker dollar tends to give a boost to multinational companies selling goods and services abroad, while a strengthening euro can provide a headwind to European companies selling outside of the eurozone. Market participants also watched a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for signs of any further moves to limit a glut of crude oil, which has weighed on futures prices . In corporate news, the market was watching the tumble in Hibbett Sports Inc. , which was sinking after it said it expected second-quarter sales to slump. Also, Shares of WebMD Health Corp. soared on news that KKR & Co. was looking to take the health-care information company private. Looking ahead, Google-parent Alphabet Inc. is set to report after the close of trade on Monday. Further out, the Fed kicks off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, with the central bank not expected to lift interest rates further, but clues about its policy plans and the state of the U.S. economy will be closely tracked in its updated statement. In economic news, the IHS Markit flash purchasing managers index, a key business survey, came in at 55.8--lower than the 56.2 analysts had expected, and a six-month low for the index. A reading above 50 indicates economic growth.
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Markets Right Now: US stocks move broadly lower at midday
Stocks are broadly lower in midday trading on Wall Street as banks and industrial companies post losses.
Verizon CEO says company is not eyeing deal to buy Disney
Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Lowell McAdam told journalists during the annual media and technology summit in Sun Valley, Idaho that "No," the telecommunication and media company will not buy Walt Disney Co. , according to media reports. Last week the New York Post reported that rumors had been circling that Verizon was eyeing a purchase of the Mouse House empire. Analysts were quick to the denounce the report and now Verizon's chief executive has said the company isn't looking at a potential deal. Verizon recently completed its acquisition of Yahoo Inc.. And the narrative looming in the media industry has been that media companies would be attractive targets for tech and telecom companies. The industry has been waiting to see if Facebook Inc. , or Apple Inc. would look to acquire a media company to help their push into TV, and Verizon rival AT&T Inc. is currently in midst of a deal for Time Warner Inc. . Verizon shares have declined more than 19% in the year to date, while Disney shares are down less than 1% and the S&P 500 index is up 9% during the same period.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
ADP says small business hiring slows dramatically in June
Small business hiring slowed significantly in June, with companies adding just 17,000 jobs
Markets Right Now: Slide in energy stocks weighs on indexes
Stocks are mostly lower on Wall Street in midday trading as oil and gas companies sink following a downward turn in energy prices.
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