U.S. markets closed

US, European and Asian Markets Down on Wednesday

U.S. stocks were in the red on Wednesday on the back of economic data that showed retail sales and manufacturing output declined in March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.70% to 23,533, the S&P 500 Index dipped 2.01% to 2,788 and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.03% to 8,428.

Non-index stocks have also posted gains and losses recently. Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) jumped almost 4% on Wednesday after the company announced first-quarter results. It posted earnings of $3.72 per share, beating estimates by 5 cents. Revenue of $64.42 billion registered 6.8% year-over-year growth and beat analysts' expectations by $170 million.

In the first quarter of 2020, earnings from operations inched up 3.4% year over year to $5 billion, while adjusted net earnings per share were in line with the prior-year quarter.

Further, the cash flows from operations reached $2.9 billion, with cash available of $10.9 billion, a sign of strong liquidity.

The medical care ratio was 81%, 100 basis points lower than last year, impacted by the health insurance tax. The operating cost ratio was 15.5%, up from 14.1% a year ago, while the return on equity was 23.6%

Looking ahead the 2020, the company maintained its full-year earnings per share outlook, with net earnings between $15.45 and $15.75 per share and adjusted net earnings in the range of $16.25 to $16.55 per share.

During the quarter ended Dec. 31,tThe Vanguard Health Care Fund (Trades, Portfolio) trimmed its stake by 2.3% to 9,564,836 shares, while Jim Simons (Trades, Portfolio)' Renaissance Technologies sold out of the stock. Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio) boosted his holding by 15.5% to 8,096 shares.


  • Centene Corp. (NYSE:CNC) +4.5%
  • Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) +2.2%
  • Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) +1.5%
  • Anthem Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) +0.6%
  • Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) +1.2%
  • General Mills Inc. (NYSE:GIS) +0.4%


  • Helmerich and Payne Inc. (NYSE:HP) -11.5%
  • L Brands Inc. (NYSE:LB) -11%
  • PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH) -10.8%
  • Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:OXY) -10%
  • Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) -8.9%

Global markets

The main European stock markets traded in the red.The U.K.'s FTSE 100 tumbled 3.34%, France's CAC 40 sank 3.76%, Germany's Dax swelled 3.90% and Spain's Ibex 35 retreated 3.79%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.45%, India's BSE Sensex dipped 1.01%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.19% and China's Shanghai Composite slid 0.57%.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in any stocks mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.