6:00 PM New York – U.S. stocks closed higher after the passage of healthcare bill removed an overhang on the pharmaceutical industry and health insurance providers. Markets in Latin America and Europe rebounded. The dollar gained and commodities closed mixed.
U.S. stocks closed higher after the passage of the healthcare reform bill that had divided the nation for more than one year. Republican Party engineered one of the most aggressive campaigns to defeat the bill but last minute deals between the White House and several lawmakers assured the bill’s passage.
The legislation passed with 219-212 vote will expand the coverage to 32 million people and will require most individuals to have insurance and penalize small businesses with 50 employees that fail to offer health coverage.
Hospital chain operators and drugmakers gained in trading but healthcare insurers declined. Tenet Healthcare Corporation led gainers in the S&P 500 index with a rise of 7% after the passage of landmark healthcare bill. Drug makers traded higher and health insurers are mixed. Consol Energy Inc. enters into agreement with CNX Gas shareholder.
European leaders are increasingly divided to offer financial assistance to Greece. Greece has €20 billion debt due in the next two months and may have to turn to the IMF. The euro declined against the dollar and the pound.
UK benchmark index and commodities traded sideways. Royal Dutch Shell and Petro China agree to acquire Australia based Arrow Energy Ltd. ICAP Plc will shut down its cash equities trading business. Wolseley Plc may shut businesses that fail to perform.
In emerging markets trading, Brazil Bovespa index rebounded after dropping as much as 1.4% and Argentina’s Merval index and bonds gained after the government received an approval from the U.S. regulators to offer an exchange for $20 billion in defaulted bonds.
North American Markets
Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 43.91 or 0.4% to close at 10,785.89, S&P 500 Index edged higher 5.91 or 0.5% to 1,165.81 and Nasdaq Composite Index increased 20.99 or 0.9% to close at 2,395.41. Toronto TSX Composite Index added 19.19 or 0.2% to 11,967.17.
Latin American Markets Indexes
Mexico Bolsa Index increased 119.18 or 0.4% to 33,142.02 and Brazil Bovespa Stock Index increased 212.75 or 0.31% to 69,041.73.
Europe Markets Review
In London FTSE 100 Index closed lower 11.54 or 0.20% to 5,638.58, in Paris CAC 40 Index decreased 5.90 or 0.15% to close at 3,919.54, in Frankfurt DAX index lower 6.15 or 0.10% to close at 5,976.28. In Zurich trading SMI decreased 25.04 or 0.36% to close at 6,855.72.
Asian Markets Review
Hang Seng index in Hong Kong decreased 437.57 or 2.05% to 20,933.25, and CSI 300 index in China higher 8.76 or 0.27% to 3,302.63. ASX 200 index in Australia decreased 42.00 or 0.86% to 4,830.20. The FTSE Bursa KL Composite index in Malaysia was lower 2.95 or 0.23% to 1,293.65. Markets in Japan were closed today.
The Kospi Index in South Korea decreased 13.44 or 0.80% to close at 1,672.67. SET index in Thailand closed lower 2.34 or 0.30% to 772.25. JSE Index in Indonesia decreased 40.57 or 1.48% to 2,702.40. The Sensex index in India decreased 167.66 or 0.95% to 17,410.57.
Commodities, Metals, and Currencies
Crude oil decreased $0.81 to $81.78 a barrel for a front month contract, natural gas edged down 5 cents to $4.12 per mBtu and gasoline increased 0.06 cents to 225.62 cents.
Soybean future closed up 6.75 cents to $9.68 a bushel. Wheat futures increased 2.75 cents in Chicago trading to $4.86 a bushel. Sugar closed down 0.80 cents at 17.84 cents per pound.
Gold decreased $8.10 in New York trading to close at $1,099.50 per ounce, silver closed down $0.09 to $16.93 per ounce and copper for the front month delivery increased 0.80 cent to $3.3805 per pound.