Number of the Day: $48 Billion
Health Care

Number of the Day: $48 Billion

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

That’s how much health insurer stocks rose Wednesday as investors reacted to Joe Biden’s surprisingly strong showing in the Super Tuesday primaries.

Wall Street apparently saw the result as a reduction in the threat to the for-profit health care industry represented by Bernie Sanders and his Medicare for All plan. More than half of the 15 top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 were health-care companies, with the market cap of UnitedHealthcare Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, increasing by about $20 billion. 

In a tweet, Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation wondered if investors were overdoing it.

"I'm sure these Wall Street investors are smart folks," Levitt wrote. "But, they really seem to overreact to political developments when the underlying power of the health care industry to stop major legislation hasn't changed throughout the campaign.”