Medicare-related stocks rise after poor Biden debate performance

Brian Snyder | Reuters

One group of health insurance stocks appeared to be rallying on the notion that President Joe Biden's poor debate performance on Thursday night would bring another term for former President Donald Trump.

RBC analyst Ben Hendrix chalks up Friday's rally in Medicare Advantage stocks on the thesis that "a second Trump term would ease regulatory and reimbursement headwinds weighing on the managed care stocks, particularly the Medicare Advantage leaders," such as UnitedHealth, Humana and CVS Health.

UnitedHealth and CVS popped more than 2% as of noon Eastern time. Humana gained more than 4%. All three names are down on a year-to-date basis, however. United Health is toting a decline of 5% in 2024, while Humana is off by nearly 18% and CVS has slid close to 25%.

These shares have faced pressure because of regulatory changes in reimbursement for Medicare Advantage at a time when medical costs among seniors have seen a resurgence.

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