U.S. Markets closed

Stocks end slightly lower, pulled down by health care sector

William L. Watts

Stocks ended slightly lower Wednesday, with a selloff in the health care sector offsetting corporate earnings as investors paid little heed to unexpectedly strong Chinese economic data. The S&P 500 ended with a loss of around 7 points, or 0.2%, near 2,900, according to preliminary figures, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged around 3 points lower to finish around 26,450. The Nasdaq Composite edged down around 4 points, or less than 0.1%, to end near 7,997. Health care was the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500, falling 2.9% and turning negative for 2019, down 0.9% year to date. The sector-tracking Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF declined 2.7% Wednesday and is off 0.7% so far this year. Analysts have tied weakness in the sector in part to the political climate, including calls for lower drug prices and a "Medicare for All"-type health insurance overhaul.