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UnitedHealth Drags Dow In Stock Market Today, 4 Rally – Investor’s Business Daily

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


The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all edged around 0.1% to 0.2% lower. The small-cap Russell 2000 held a fractional loss.

Volume tracked slightly higher on the NYSE but lower on the Nasdaq vs. the same time Wednesday.

Fourth-quarter GDP came in at 2.6%, above the 2.2% economists expected.

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

Boeing (BA), however, lifted off to a second straight record high in the current stock market. The jet maker beat out Airbus (EADSY) by landing an order for up to 42 next-generation Boeing 777X planes.

Among other blue chip winners, Coca-Cola (KO), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE) gained about 1% apiece. All three and Boeing belong to the Dow Jones industrials.

Nonalcoholic beverage, generic drug and solar stocks were among the top sector gainers in the stock market today. Travel bookers, medical and energy sectors lagged.

Over in the IBD 50, Gray Television (GTN) surged 16% to a new high, breaking out past a 20.34 buy point in heavy volume. Shares were extended from the entry in early afternoon trade. The TV station operator broadcast Q4 earnings and revenue that easily topped Street forecasts. Revenue growth stepped to 40%, up from year-over-year gains of 28% and 10% in the prior two quarters.

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REITs Rise In Stock Market Today

Several IBD 50 real estate investment trusts (REITs) also advanced. American Tower REIT (AMT), which owns cellular towers, rose more than 2%. Single-tenant commercial property owner Store Capital (STOR) and MGM Growth Properties (MGP), which owns and leases casino properties, added over 1% each.

Real estate ETFs on the move in the current stock market included iShares U.S. Real Estate (IYR), up 1.1%, and Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund (VNQ), up 0.7%. Both ETFs are near 52-week highs.

IBD 50 medical names showed weak action. Syneos Health (SYNH) plunged 21% in heavy trade, gapping down below its 50-day and 200-day lines. The clinical research services provider cited a Securities and Exchange Commission accounting probe for a delay in its Q4 report. Shares are now 26% off their 52-week high.

Among other IBD 50 stocks in health care, PRA Health Sciences (PRAH) sank 5% and WellCare Health Plans (WCG) shed 3%.

Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) traded virtually flat as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Merck (MRK) helped offset UnitedHealth’s big drop. The four stocks are among the ETF’s top five holdings. The ETF is shaping the right side of a base with a 96.16 potential buy point.


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