Healthcare stocks take $150B beating over 4 days

Companies in the S&P 500 Health Care Index lost about $150 billion in market value from April 15 to when markets closed for the holiday weekend April 18, according to Bloomberg.

The sell-off is largely attributable to uncertainty in the healthcare industry due to competing policy proposals in Congress. Several healthcare companies saw their stock prices plunge April 16 after UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann warned investors on a post-earnings conference call that "Medicare for All" proposals would "destabilize the nation's health system."

The sell-off spread across the industry's sub-sectors throughout the week, but hospital and health insurance stocks took the biggest hit, according to Bloomberg. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare's stock price dropped 9.9 percent.

"Clearly, huge stock impacts to HCA and managed care can't be ignored and 'collateral damage' to sub-sectors like biopharma in the following days are reflective of a view that mutual funds are drawing down and souring" on healthcare, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote in a note cited by Bloomberg.

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