Stocks – Health Insurers Drive Dow to New Record at Opening

© Reuters.

Investing.com — Wall Street rose at the open on Thursday, as healthcare stocks reacted exuberantly to the administration abandoning a plan to curb drug rebates from government drug plans, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 27,000 for the first time.

The Dow’s record follows a new record high in the S&P 500, which crossed 3,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday.

CVS jumped 7.1%, while Cigna (NYSE:) surged 14.2% and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:) gained 4.1%.

Big pharma stocks, by contrast, were among the most conspicuous losers. Pfizer (NYSE:) was down 2.1%, Eli Lilly (NYSE:) fell by 3.1%, Merck (NYSE:) by 2.2% and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:) by 2.2%

The broader market tended higher, still supported by hints from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday of an imminent cut in interest rates. Chairman Jerome Powell continues his testimony in the Senate at 10 AM ET (1400 GMT).

The was up 9 points or 0.3% by 9:46 AM ET (13:46 GMT). The gained 115 points or 0.4% and the rose 17 points or 0.2%.

Investors expect the Fed to cut rates at its next policy meeting, after Powell told the House the central bank will “act as appropriate” as policymakers consider slowing investment, trade disputes and other issues affecting the global economy.

Those expectations were only mildly dented by data from the Labor Department that showed underlying consumer price inflation rose in June to its highest in almost one-and-a-half years.

“It’s a little higher than we thought but it seems like it’s going to take a lot more than a monthly data point to push Powell away from his dovish stance,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president, investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial Corp.

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