Stocks - Dow Tops 27,000 as UnitedHealth Soars

11/07/2019 19:47:34 Stock Market – The Dow hit a new high as it topped 27,000 for the first time on Thursday thanks to a huge gain for health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group and sizable for gains for Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

But stocks overall were mixed. While the Dow industrials finished up 0.85%, the S&P 500 was up just 0.23%. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.08%.

The Dow surged above 27,000 at about 11 a.m. It dipped in the afternoon and then shot back up to 27,088, a gain of 228 points.

The catalyst was news the Trump administration had abandoned a proposal to end rebates paid to middlemen who negotiate drug prices on behalf of health insurers. That was great news for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), whose shares jumped 5.6% and added about 93 points to the Dow's gain by itself.

Health-insurance stocks overall rallied on the news, while drug companies fell back. Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) were the Dow losers on the day.

Boeing (NYSE:BA), up 1.9%, added 46 points to the Dow. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), up 2.6%, added 24 points to the index.

The rest of the market was bedeviled by rising interest rates and weakness in telecom and tech stocks. Real estate and utilities stocks were lower as the 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.12%. Telecommunications and communications stocks also fell. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reached as high as $2,035.80, sporting a market cap of more than $1 trillion in the process. But Amazon's shares slid in the afternoon, ending down 0.81%, with its market cap at $999.6 billion. Amazon last ended with a $1-trillion market cap last fall.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) also fell.

At the end of the day, the Dow was up 16.1% on the year. The S&P is showing a 19.7% gain year to date. The Nasdaq has gained 23.5%. Most of the gains in recent weeks have resulted from the expectation of a Federal Reserve rate cut later this month and a lower tension levels on the U.S.-China trade dispute.


Winners and Losers in the S&P 500

Health insurers Cigna Corp (NYSE:CI), Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) were among the top-performing S&P 500 stocks.

Data-storage company Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM), oil-and-gas producer Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) and pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE:MRK)were the S&P 500's worst performers.