Investing.com - Health care stocks were lower in midday trading on Wednesday as Centene announced it is buying rival WellCare Health Plans in a $15.3 billion deal.
The deal would help Centene beef up its government-backed health care business and reduce the company's dependence on health care exchanges.
Shares of Centene (NYSE:CNC) slumped 8.3% on the news, while WellCare Health (NYSE:WCG) rose 9.1%.
The sector remained troubled, overall, with the S&P 500 Health Care index down 0.5% as investors remained worried about the Trump administration’s bid to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
Elsewhere, Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) slipped 1.3%, while UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) fell 0.9% and CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) was down 2.7%.