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StockBeat - UnitedHealth Deepens Losses as Fears Over Political Risk Rise

Investing.com - UnitedHealth Group fell deeper into the red Wednesday as analysts turned bearish on the stock in the wake of its CEO's warning on political risk.

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) CEO David Wichmann's warning on Tuesday that a Medicare for All system would destabilize the system put health care stocks on notice and prompted negative calls on the sector from analysts.

The stock fell as much as 5.7% before buyers came in and pared the loss to 2.9%. The shares had lost 4% on Monday.

The measures proposed by Democrats would "surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation’s health system and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best," Wichmann said. "And the inherent cost burden would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs -- all without fundamentally increasing access to care."

Citi lowered its price target for UnitedHealth to $247 from $288, citing concerns over government reforms including "regulatory uncertainties around Medicare for All and concerns around (point-of-sale) rebates."

The negative sentiment in the stock has overshadowed better-than-expected earnings from other health care companies and has pressured the health care sector overall. The Health Care Select Sector ETF (NYSE:XLV) was off about 3.4% Wednesday afternoon. Up 8% on March 4, the ETF is now off 1.3% for the year.

Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) fell 4%, even as the company reported first-quarter results that ttopped expectations.

The company reported earnings per share of $0.63 on revenue of $7.54 billion, above estimates from Investing.com for earnings of $0.61 a share on revenue of $7.47 billion.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) bucked the trend lower as it continued to add to gains following its above-consensus earnings reported a day earlier.

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