Health Stocks Fall as Trump Slams Industry -- WSJ

Date : 01/12/2017 @ 3:03AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Merck & Company (New) (MRK)
Quote : 59.09  -0.04 (-0.07%) @ 4:00PM

Health Stocks Fall as Trump Slams Industry -- WSJ

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By Akane Otani and Riva Gold 

Major U.S. stock indexes shook off a slide in health-care shares and closed higher Wednesday.

In a choppy session, stocks rose heading into President-elect Donald Trump's first news conference since the election, then dipped into negative territory during the event before recovering in the afternoon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung 140 points between its intraday high and low, and closed up 98.75 points, or 0.5%, at 19954.28.

The S&P 500 climbed 6.42 points, or 0.3%, to 2275.32, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 11.83 points, or 0.2%, to 5563.65, a fresh high.

The slump in health-care shares came after Mr. Trump said the drug industry was "getting away with murder" and called for "new bidding procedures." Health-care stocks were among the worst performers in 2016 amid scrutiny over drug pricing.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell 3% Wednesday in its biggest one-day drop since Oct. 11, and the S&P 500 health-care sector lost 1%, its worst day since Nov. 22.

Shares of Endo International fell $1.30, or 8.5%, to $14.01 and Perrigo fell 5.77, or 6.9%, to 77.88.

Gains in energy shares helped offset some of the declines as oil prices jumped. U.S. crude for February delivery rose 2.8% to $52.25 a barrel in its best day since Dec. 1. The S&P 500's energy sector climbed 1.2%.

Kate Warne, a principal and investment strategist at Edward Jones, said she had hoped Mr. Trump's press conference would allow her to glean more details on his potential policy agenda, especially relating to fiscal stimulus and tax cuts. The conference left her with more questions than answers, she said.

While U.S. stocks still seem poised for further gains in 2017 as corporate earnings resume growth and the economy strengthens, Ms. Warne said swings in individual stocks and sectors could become more common.

"I think it's reasonable to be concerned that stocks have moved ahead of the policy changes people are hoping for," Ms. Warne said.

Stocks have rallied to records several times since November as investors betting on business-friendly policies under Mr. Trump boosted shares of banks and industrial companies, while largely selling government bonds and driving up the dollar.

On Wednesday, the WSJ Dollar Index, which gauges the U.S. currency against 16 others, fell 0.3%. Government bonds climbed, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield falling to 2.368%, from 2.379% on Tuesday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Gold, a haven, settled up 1% at $1,195.60 an ounce -- its highest close since Nov. 22.

Elsewhere in stock markets, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%. London's FTSE 100 added 0.2% to close at its 10th straight record, as a weakening currency supported the export-heavy index. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average inched up 0.3%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.8% in its fifth consecutive day of gains.

Write to Akane Otani at and Riva Gold at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 12, 2017 02:48 ET (07:48 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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