- Dow Jones Industrial Index down 0.2 (-25.13) at 12,601.88
- S&P 500 down 0.21% (-2.81) at 1,329.01
- Nasdaq Composite Index down 0.9% (-25.83) at 2,849.49
- Hang Seng Index down 0.79% (-151.68) to 19.025.27
- Shanghai China Composite Index down 0.95% (-20.96) to 2,195.97
- FTSE 100 is down 1.17% (-64.84) to 5,459.08
U.S. stock indices tumbled on Thursday following the kick-off of the two day meeting of European leaders in Brussels and the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 is constitutional.
The Supreme Court upheld a ruling on nationally mandated healthcare, saying that it was within its rights to require most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, the mandate was upheld as a tax. The Supreme Court did not, however, look at the healthcare law's expansion of Medicaid as favorably and made some changes to that part of the law. The ruling gives drug makers and health insurers more certainty, so the morning saw their stock prices rising considerably, even leading to some short term trading halts as they hit their volatility circuit breakers.
In economics, US GDP met consensus estimates, holding steady from the last quarter at 1.9%. Analysts had estimated a range of 1.7% to 2.3%. Jobless claims fell to 386,000, just above the 385,000 consensus estimate.
According to The Wall Street Journal, today eurozone officials ran through a variety of options aimed at helping Spain and Italy deal with sky-high borrowing costs. More details of the meeting will be available following its conclusion on Friday.
Commodities ended lower. Gold staged its worst performance since late May, slipping $28, or 1.8%, to end at $1,550.40 an ounce on the Comex. Crude-oil futures for August delivery declined $2.52, or 3.1%, to end the day at $77.69 a barrel, the lowest for a front-month contract since October.
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