Stocks cling to gains, weighed by big drop in health care names

|By:, SA News Editor

Stocks finished higher but surrendered most of their early gains, as a drop in health care shares limited broader gains.

The S&P health care sector tumbled 2% after UnitedHealth raised its profit guidance for the year on revenue growth across all its businesses but CEO David Wichmann warned the "Medicare for All" legislation proposed by House Democrats threatened to "destabilize the nation's health system."

Health care was last year's best performing sector but is the weakest YTD, coming under pressure amid the threat of tighter health care regulation.

The S&P financial sector (+1.4%) topped today's leaderboard following earnings beat from Bank of America, BlackRock and Progressive; BofA had dropped as much as 2.8% intraday after missing revenue estimates and warning of a slowdown in net interest income, but shares turned around to eke out a slight gain.

Qualcomm soared 23% on news it reached a patent deal with Apple and ended their long-brewing legal battle, helping lift the information technology sector (+0.5%).

U.S. Treasury prices finished lower, pushing the two-year yield 2 bps higher to 2.41% and the 10-year yield up by 4 bps to 2.59%.

WTI crude rose 1% to $64.05/bbl, rebounding after dropping to a more than one-week low.

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