UnitedHealth Drags Dow on the stock market today, 4 rally


The major stock indexes were above their session highs and were subs in the stock market today, despite Q4 GDP data better than expected.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S & P 500 and Nasdaq all declined from about 0.1% to 0.2%. Russell 2000, a small-cap company, recorded a partial loss.

The volume rose slightly on the NYSE but fell on the Nasdaq compared to the same time on Wednesday.

GDP in the fourth quarter was 2.6%, above the 2.2% expected by economists.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and DowDuPont (DWDP) weighed on the Dow with losses of nearly 3% each. UnitedHealth, which dropped 5% on Wednesday, has fallen further below its 50-day line. Managed care stocks have been under pressure since the Democratic House party introduced a bill that would insure all Americans through Medicare.

Boeing (BA) however reached a second consecutive record on the current stock market. The jet maker beat Airbus (EADSY) by winning an order for 42 Boeing 777X next-generation aircraft.

Among the other winners, Coca Cola (KO) Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE) gained about 1% each. All three, as well as Boeing, belong to Dow Jones industrialists.

Stocks of soft drinks, generic drugs and solar energy have been among the biggest winners in the stock market today. Travel bookings, the medical and energy sectors lagged behind.

In the IBD 50, Gray television (GTN) jumped 16%, reaching a new high, surpassing a purchase point of 20.34% in high volume. The shares were extended from the entry into the trade in the early afternoon. The operator of the television channel broadcast fourth quarter results and revenues higher than Street's forecast. Revenue growth reached 40%, up from 28% and 10% year-on-year gains in the previous two quarters.

REITs are rising on the stock market today

Several IBD 50 real estate investment trusts (REITs) also advanced. American Tower REIT (AMT), which has cell towers, increased by more than 2%. Single-tenant commercial property owner Store capital (STOR) and MGM Growth Properties (MGP), which owns and rents casino properties, has added more than 1% each.

Real estate ETFs currently trading in the stock market include the iShares U.S. Real Estate (IYR), up 1.1%, and the Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund (VNQ), up 0.7%. Both ETFs are close to 52-week highs.

Medical names IBD 50 showed a weak action. Syneos Health (SYNH) plunged 21% in intense trade, below its 50 and 200 day lines. The clinical research service provider cited an accounting survey conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission to explain the delay in its fourth quarter report. Shares are now 26% of their 52-week high.

Of the 50 stocks of IBD in the health sector, PRA Health Sciences (PRAH) sank 5% and WellCare Health Plans (WCG) paid 3%.

SPDR funds in the selected health care sector (XLV) almost virtually traded Merck (MRK) helped offset the sharp decline in UnitedHealth. The four stocks are among the top five positions of the ETF. The ETF is shaping the right side of a base with a potential purchase point of 96.16 points.


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