UnitedHealth’s stock tumbles toward worst day in 8 1/2 years as Bernie Sanders’s Nevada win helps fuel MCO selloff

Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -7.58% were down 7.2% in midday trading Monday, putting it on track for the biggest one-day selloff since Aug. 8, 2011, as Sen. Bernie Sanders’s surprisingly big Nevada caucus win may be switching the narrative on health insurers to one of a negative catalyst from a positive one. UnitedHealth’s stock, which is by far the biggest decliner in the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -3.31%, has been rallying, reaching a record high on Wednesday, as Sanders’s strength has been viewed by Wall Street as a positive for managed-care organizations, as many felt that a Sanders nomination increases the chances of President Trump’s getting re-elected. J.P. Morgan analyst Gary Taylor said he believes most health-care investors believes Sanders would increase Trump’s chances, but the "fear" surrounding the potential selection of the Vermont independent as the Democratic presidential nominee, "which will render sentiment volatile and ephemeral over the next several months." Among other MCOs, shares of Centene Corp. CNC, -9.83% sank 8.7%, CVS Health Corp. CVS, -4.77% fell 4%, Cigna Corp. CI, -7.56% slid 6.7%, Humana Inc. HUM, -6.04% declined 5.5%, Molina Healthcare Inc. MOH, -7.58% was hit for a 7.3% loss and Anthem Inc. ANTM, -5.41% gave up 5.1%.

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