Wall Street’s primary markets are looking north on Wednesday on the strength of positive earnings from Morgan Stanley and Pepsi Co, and after Chinese data exceeded projections. On the other hand, Healthcare stocks are taking a beating despite near-record profits from the likes of UnitedHealth.

China realized a 6.4% economic growth in the first quarter with positive data being reported in retail sales, industrial production, and housing sectors. The U.S. and China have yet to agree on a trade deal and so while the current data has eased concerns, for now, investors harbor lingering doubts and are watching the trade negotiations keenly.

Morgan Stanley was up 0.6% after posting profits and revenue that exceeded analyst’s projections. The bank reported $2.4 billion in first-quarter profit which equated to $1.39 per share, handsomely beating the $1.17 expected by analysts. It’s revenues of $10.3 billion exceeded the $9.94 billion estimate.

U.S. Bankcorp was up 0.4% after reporting first-quarter earnings that matched analysts expectations, with revenue coming in slightly below forecasts. The bank reported first-quarter net income of $1.69 billion or $1.00 a share matching the expected forecasts. Revenue for the quarter was $5.77 billion, just slightly below forecasts.

PepsiCo was up 2.0% as its first-quarter results topped expectations, credited largely to continued growth internationally and by it’s Frito-Lay snack divisions. Net sales grew 2.6% to $12.88 billion surpassing the expected 12.70 billion. It’s Frito-Lay business stood out this quarter with sales growing 5.5% from last year thanks to a strong Super Bowl showing.

Today UnitedHealth tanked 4% after posting its second-highest quarterly profit yesterday. Consequently, the shares of the other major health insurers, hospital chains, and pharmaceuticals also dropped. CVS Health Corp slipped 1.2%, Abbot labs fell 2% despite a strong first quarter report, Cigna plummeted 8%, followed closely by Anthem and Humana. HCA tumbled by 10%.

The driving force for health sector losses is Wall Street’s fear of “Medicare for All” becoming a reality. UnitedHealth’s CEO Dave Wichmann told investors that single-payer would “jeopardize” people’s care. “Medicare for All” discussions are more important to Wall Street right now and outweighs the health sector’s positive first-quarter reports.


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