GOOD READS

Misreporting on Healthcare Ruling Rattles Insurance Stocks

The Supreme Court gave the nation's big insurers a wild ride this morning, as its landmark ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act trickled out in confusing, contradictory reports.

Incorrect initial reports on the ruling indicated that the court had struck down the individual mandate, a keystone of the sweeping law and a provision that insurers were counting on to meet their expanded coverage obligations under it. For several minutes shortly after the 10 a.m. EST decision, CNN, for one, carried a banner reporting that the court had struck down the mandate.

[See Top-Rated Healthcare Funds.]

That sent insurance stocks plunging. Humana fell 3.5 percent, United Healthcare fell 5.4 percent, WellPoint plummeted 7.2 percent, and Aetna declined 3.8 percent. All four bounced back by between 5 percent and 6 percent when it emerged a few minutes later that the court had actually upheld the mandate, and indeed most of the existing law.

At mid-day, insurers' shares were still modestly down along with many pharmaceutical and medical-device makers, while some hospital stocks, notably HCA Holdings, flirted with double-digit gains.

The four stocks represent significant stakes in several healthcare funds. They comprise 34 percent, for example, of the Fidelity Select Medical Delivery fund (FSHCX).

[See Top-Rated Heathcare ETFs.]

The initial reports appeared to stem from the cable networks running with the opening comments of Chief Justice John Roberts, whose majority opinion opened by saying that the mandate was not constitutional under the commerce clause of the constitution. But as Justice Roberts, the deciding vote in the 5-4 decision, continued, it became clear that the court was upholding the mandate, as well as most of the law's other provisions.

Most analysts agree that a rejection of the mandate alone would have been the worst possible outcome for the major insurers. The ruling does not, however, put the healthcare issue to rest. Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is vowing to repeal the law if elected in November.



More From US News & World Report

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Latest News

  • Hyundai Motor Q1 profit unchanged; misses estimates

    South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co on Thursday missed analyst estimates by posting nearly flat net profit, as lacklustre U.S. performance offset increased sales in Korea and China. Hyundai, the world's fifth-biggest ... …

  • Apple resets the clock as investors await next big thing

    Apple Inc just bought itself some much-needed time. On Wednesday, the company surprised Wall Street with news that it sold more iPhones in the March quarter than even the most bullish analysts had expected. To top it all off, Apple unveiled a 7-for-1 stock split that should go down well with individuals who want a piece of a household name but could not afford to fork over $500 a share. The litany of positive numbers sent Apple's long-stagnant shares up 8 percent. …

  • Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent
    Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent

    Telecommunications tower operator Bharti Infratel Ltd reported a 64 percent jump in its quarterly profit, beating estimates on higher revenue from leasing mobile phone masts to phone carriers. Bharti Infratel, ... …

  • Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads
    Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads

    Facebook Inc's (FB.O) mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets. Shares of Facebook were up nearly 3 percent at $63.05 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile ads represented 59 percent of its ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in the year-ago period. Facebook's overall revenue grew 72 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the first …

  • Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split
    Apple expands buybacks by $30 billion, OKs 7-for-1 stock split

    Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks till the end of 2015 and authorized a rarely seen seven-for-one stock split, addressing calls to share more of its cash hoard while broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who had famously called on the iPhone maker to boost its buyback program, tweeted his approval of the move on Wednesday. On Wednesday, Apple reported sales of 43.7 million iPhones in the quarter ended March, …

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS & INTERVIEWS

  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …

  • Bracing for Challenges

    Raghuram Rajan is preparing to deal with concerns that may arise when a new government takes charge. …

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.52-0.33-1.96%
    UNITECH.BO
    14.31-0.27-1.85%
    SUZLON.BO
    120.40+7.00+6.17%
    FRL.BO
    66.05+4.10+6.62%
    MANGCHEM.BO
    54.40+1.65+3.13%
    HCLINFO.BO
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.20+2.70+20.00%
    JAGSONPH.BO
    53.50+8.90+19.96%
    RUSHIL.BO
    40.45+6.45+18.97%
    RCIIND.BO
    63.95+8.90+16.17%
    MRPL.BO
    24.00+3.10+14.83%
    NELCAST.BO
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    -10.95-100.00%
    4THGEN.BO
    -17.30-100.00%
    ALFAICA.BO
    -16.81-100.00%
    AMAL.BO
    -11.73-100.00%
    BORAX.BO
    -29.95-100.00%
    BRADYM.BO
  •  
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

    •  
      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.