U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday as Healthcare stocks continue to drop amid concerns over “Medicare for all” despite strong indicators in the global economy, while the latest corporate earnings did little to boost investor confidence.
The S&P 500 Index is at 2906, 28 points off it’s record high on September 2018 as Healthcare stocks plummeted. Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.46% while the Nasdaq 100 Index was up 0.07% after Qualcomm Inc shot up following it’s $6 billion settlement with Apple.
The U.S. Healthcare industry is under pressure as “Medicare for All” is debated by U.S. lawmakers. Investors are worried that changes will affect the earnings models for participants in the industry.
“While there is still no convincing evidence legislative changes will have any negative impact on this year‘s earnings, it doesn’t help to have a major headwind emerge for an industry that was expected to be a driver of a second-half profit rebound,” said Alec Young of FTSE Russell.
On the positive side, U.S. retail sales in March saw it’s the largest increase in 18 months. Earlier today the labor department reported that last week the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to it’s lowest since 1969 further highlighting the strength of the world’s largest economy.
The dollar gained 0.59% as data shows the U.S. trade gap narrowed for the second straight month. Elsewhere, China’s industrial production, retail sales, and overall economic growth all exceeded analysts expectations resulting in stronger equities globally.