UnitedHealth stock has worst day in almost 9 years

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

On Feb. 24, UnitedHealth Group saw its shares tumble toward their worst day in nearly nine years after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took home a big victory in the Nevada Democratic caucuses, according to MarketWatch.

Prior wins from the "Medicare-for-All" advocate were actually seen as good for health insurance stocks because analysts largely believe if Mr. Sanders wins the Democratic presidential nomination, it improves President Donald Trump's reelection chances.

While this belief remains — "We have repeatedly heard from investors that they believe a Sanders nomination should be seen as a boost to the re-election of President Trump and/or a boost to Republicans winning full control of Congress," one analyst told MarketWatch — other analysts point out conventional wisdom was against President Trump in 2016.

In a note to clients obtained by MarketWatch, JPMorgan analyst Gary Taylor said: "Are the rising odds of a Sanders nomination a negative catalyst for the sector (given his health-care views) or a positive catalyst as odds-makers boost Trump's re-election chances? We think most health-care investors cite the latter but actually fear the former; which will render sentiment volatile and ephemeral over the next several months."

UnitedHealth fell 7.8 percent Feb. 24, making it one of the biggest one-day declines since August 2011. Other insurers, including Cigna, Humana, Molina Healthcare and Anthem, also dropped.

More articles on healthcare finance:
West Virginia hospital to close, lay off 600 employees
U of Vermont Health Network blames operating loss on Epic install
Highest-earning nonprofit hospitals give less charity care than lower-earning ones, study finds

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.