Drug stocks slip, then swing higher after Trump unveils cost-cutting plan

Healthcare stocks dipped after President Donald Trump started presenting his plan to cut prescription drug costs, then bounced sharply to trade even higher than pre-speech levels. The SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF was up about 0.5% before Trump‘s speech began, then slid to be down 0.1% swinging higher to be up 1.1% at a new intraday high. Among shares of the ETF‘s four most heavily weighted components, which were all also Dow Jones Industrial Average components: Johnson & Johnson went from a gain of 0.8% to a gain of 0.5%, but is now up 0.9%; Pfizer Inc. was up 0.8%, then up 0.2%, and now up 1.2%; UnitedHealth Group Inc. went from a 0.8% gain to a 0.3% loss, but was now up 1.3%; and Merck & Co. Inc. was up 1.2%, then up just 0.5%, and was now up 2.3%. Some changes to policy announced by Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar included drug price negotiation by government programs, an end to the "gag rule" on pharmacists–who cannot disclose if drug products can be bought for cheaper without using a health plan — and disclosure of drugs‘ list prices pharmaceutical advertisements.