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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
November 8, 2012
05:12 EDTUNH, CNC, WLP, HCA, AETBarron's revisits the Obamacare stocks that will be winners and losers
President Obama's re-election should help hospitals and insurers who can benefit from health-care reform. However, medical-device makers and big insurers may struggle under his "Obamacare", Barron's contends. Post election, shares of HCA (HCA) and Centene (CNC) rose amid a growing belief that profits will soar along with membership in Medicaid programs. Share prices should keep climbing over the next year. Big health insurers like Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) will face tough new rules governing how they do business that could squeeze future profits. Yet Obama's victory doesn't clear away all the clouds hanging over the health-care sector. To help defray the cost of giving all Americans health benefits, medical-device makers will have to start paying excise taxes next year, while drug makers must give bigger price rebates to Medicaid and Medicare patients. Barron's suggests that investors with a longer-term investment horizon may want to cast a wider net beyond hospitals and insurers to include drug makers and other companies with products or services that can bring down spiraling health-care costs. Reference Link
News For HCA;CNC;AET;WLP;UNH From The Last 14 Days
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February 24, 2015
13:23 EDTAETAetna, Virtua Medical Group expand relationship
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10:06 EDTCNCHigh option volume stocks
High option volume stocks: CHGG LBTYK SMH RCAP NGLS OTEX TERP CNC ALKS AMT
08:00 EDTCNCCentene subsidiary announces successful reprocurement of foster care contract
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February 23, 2015
19:40 EDTCNC, HCA, UNH, AETLeerink healthcare services analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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16:27 EDTUNHOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street began the session in negative territory and remained there for most of the session, with the Nasdaq the lone index to post a small gain. The Dow was weighed down by shares of Boeing (BA), which slid after the stock received a downgrade. There was little in the way of positive economic news, as the most notable report showed existing homes were lower than expected due to a shortage of inventory. The averages drifted for most of the session, as investors may be waiting on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s banking panel testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Chicago Fed national activity index rebounded to 0.13 in January, which was nearly in-line with expectations. Existing home sales dropped 4.9% to a 4.82M rate in January, which was much worse than the expected 1.8% drop to a 4.95M unit rate. In Europe, the Ifo Institute’s measure of German business confidence rose to 106.8 in February, which was up a tenth of a percentage point from the previous month but below the 107.7 consensus forecast. Also, the Bank of Israel became the latest central bank to cut rates this year, lowering its main interest rate to 0.1% from 0.25%. COMPANY NEWS: The shares of a number of health insurers rose after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued preliminary 2016 Medicare Advantage rates. According to Credit Suisse, the rates were favorable for the insurers. Following the CMS announcement made late Friday, Humana (HUM) climbed $8.40, or 5.38%, to $164.52, UnitedHealth (UNH) rose $3.78, or 3.36%, to $116.40, and WellCare (WCG) gained $4.68, or 5.53%, to $89.30. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was PTC Therapeutics (PTCT), which jumped $9.77, or 17.7%, to $64.96 after Reuters said the company is working with financial advisers to explore a potential sale after receiving takeover interest from several companies including Shire (SHPG) and BioMarin (BMRN). Also higher was Valeant (VRX), which rose $25.49, or 14.71%, to $198.75 after the company agreed to buy Salix (SLXP) for $158 per share and also reported better-than-forecast earnings. Salix shares, however, fell $2.09, or 1.32%, to $155.76, as a report Friday from CNBC's David Faber telegraphed the deal and suggested Valeant could value Salix around $160 per share. Among the noteworthy losers was Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), which dropped $1.18, or 15.82%, to $6.28 after a judge ruled that a drug which could compete with the company's Fusilev treatment does not infringe on the company's intellectual property. Also lower were shares of Boeing, which fell $3.57, or 2.26%, to $154.74 after the stock was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. INDEXES: The Dow fell 23.60, or 0.13%, to 18,116.84, the Nasdaq gained 5.01, or 0.1%, to 4,960.97, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.64, or 0.03%, to 2,109.66.
12:21 EDTAET, CNC, UNHOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
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11:10 EDTAET, CNC, UNHHealth insurers rise after CMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates
The shares of a number of health insurers are rising after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued preliminary 2016 Medicare Advantage rates. According to Credit Suisse, the rates were favorable for health insurers. WHAT'S NEW: On Friday after the market closed, CMS issued a proposal for 2016 Medicare Advantage rates. The rates are preliminary and could change when CMS announces the final 2016 rates on April 6 of this year, the agency noted. In a note to investors earlier today, Credit Suisse analyst Ralph Giacobbe estimated that, under CMS' initial proposal, insurers would see rate changes of between -1% and +1%, depending on the risk that each insurer faces. The preliminary rates were "favorable" for insurers, since the rates were "in-line if not slightly better" than investors had expected, the firm stated. Moreover, CMS decided not to restrict at-home health risk assessments, as had been feared, and agreed to reduce the weighting of certain risk factors that had hurt previously certain plans with a higher proportion of low-income beneficiaries, acceding to a request by insurers. Insurers with the highest exposure to Medicare Advantage include Humana (HUM), UnitedHealth (UNH), and WellCare (WCG), the analyst stated. WHAT'S NOTABLE: After analyzing CMS' proposal, health insurer Aetna (AET) estimated that the proposal would cause government funding for its Medicare Advantage business to decline by about 1% in 2016. Aetna added that it is continuing to evaluate the changes outlined in the Advance Notice and their impact on the company and its Medicare Advantage members. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other publicly traded health insurance companies include Anthem (ANTM), AMERIGROUP (AGP), Centene (CNC), Cigna (CI), Health Net (HNT), Healthspring (HS), and Molina Healthcare (MOH). PRICE ACTION: In mid-morning trading, Humana climbed 5.3% to $164.43, UnitedHealth rose 2.6% to $115.56, WellCare gained 6.3% to $90, Aetna advanced 2% to $99.91, and Centene added 3.4% to $61.93.
09:03 EDTAETAetna sees preliminary CMS rates to lower funding for MA business 1% in 2016
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08:05 EDTUNH, CNC, AETCMS releases preliminary Medicare Advantage rates for 2016
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February 22, 2015
17:23 EDTHCAHCA Holdings could rise 20%, Barron's says
HCA Holdings could rise 20%, to about $86.00 per share, in the next year as the company's core hospital business grows, Barron's contends in a feature article. Reference Link
February 20, 2015
08:41 EDTAET, UNHInsurers should be bought on weakness related to MA rates, says BMO Capital
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February 18, 2015
06:56 EDTUNH, WLP, CNC, AETObamacare enrollment exceeded goal, Politico reports
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February 17, 2015
18:06 EDTAETPaulson & Co gives quarterly update on stakes
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13:18 EDTHCAOmega Advisors gives quarterly update on stakes
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06:47 EDTHCAJudge halts illegal immigrant amnesty plan, NY Times says
A federal judge ordered the Obama administration to stop implementing its plan to prevent up to 5M illegal immigrants from being deported, according to The New York Times. The judge, who ruled that the government had failed to adhere to certain administrative rules in carrying out the president's executive actions on immigration, ordered the programs halted until he makes a final decision on the case, the newspaper explained. A number of analysts have said that the amnesty plan will hurt hospitals, since illegal immigrants who are granted legal status by the orders will not be able to obtain health insurance but will become more likely to seek treatment from hospitals. Publicly traded companies in the space include Community Health (CYH), HCA Holdings (HCA), LifePoint (LPNT), Tenet (THC) and Universal Health (UHS).Reference Link

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