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Oct. 13, 2017, 9:26 a.m. EDT

These insurance stocks look like winners as Trump whacks at Obamacare

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By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch


Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection
“Might I interest you in a little HIIQ?”

It’s Friday the 13th, and the bears surely are ready to see our relentless bull market finally run into a bit of bad luck.

The edifice of Obamacare certainly looks haunted, with the Trump administration poised to cut off key payments to health insurers that are worth billions. That would follow yesterday’s executive order that gives a shot in the arm to low-cost plans that are not subject to the Affordable Care Act’s rules.

“Trump is going to kill Obamacare, and there is nothing you can do about it,” writes iBankCoin blogger The Fly in his not-at-all-understated take on the turn of events.

The former Wall Street broker says he’s neutral on ACA and “would prefer that the insurance and drug rackets be punished to hell via rigorous restrictions,” but he then reveals his cold-blooded trader streak. The main thing now is how to play the 45th president’s push to undo what No. 44 wrought, The Fly says, delivering our call of the day .

“What is relevant,” he writes , “is the way we might profit from it. Might I interest you in a little HIIQ?”

He’s not alone in sounding bullish about Health Insurance Innovations Inc.  , which sells short-term policies. The executive order urges regulators to stop capping the duration of short-term plans at three months, and that’s good news for companies selling such products, insurance-industry consultant Raj Bal tells The Wall Street Journal

“Clearly, for the short-term players it’s a winner,” Bal says. A longer duration “makes a huge difference in terms of the appeal of the product.”

In addition to Health Insurance Innovations — whose CEO basically said the cap attack was just what the doctor ordered — UnitedHealth Group /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH +1.00%  could see upside, as it sells short-term policies, the Journal report notes.

Possible losers include Centene /zigman2/quotes/208900023/composite CNC +1.18%  , Molina Healthcare /zigman2/quotes/205492029/composite MOH +1.79%  and other insurers that could lose healthy ACA enrollees to new plans that are cheaper but less comprehensive.

See: How to invest in health-care stocks regardless of what happens in Washington

Key market gauges

There’s no black cat across the stock market’s path at the moment. Futures for the Dow  , S&P 500  and Nasdaq-100 are slightly higher, keeping the Dow /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.88%  , S&P /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.12% and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.07%  on track for small weekly gains.

Europe /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.66% has been choppy, and Asia closed mostly higher. Oil  and gold are up, as the dollar index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY +0.03%  pulls back.

See the Market Snapshot column for the latest action.

Don’t miss: The S&P 500 is poised to make history by doing almost nothing

The chart

What did you do in the past 24 hours?

Bitcoin just managed to rise by $1,000 in 24 hours, as shown in the chart above.

The CoinDesk graphic displays the digital currency’s move from the $4,850 level at 3 a.m. UTC Thursday to $5,856 at 3 a.m. UTC today. UTC is four hours ahead of Eastern Time.

Bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD +0.79% was recently changing hands around the $5,600 mark.

Read: 5 reasons bitcoin has roared to its highest level ever

And see: Why Jesse Livermore would buy bitcoin today

The buzz

Ugly...
/zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 308.02
+3.04 +1.00%
Volume: 3.80M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
17.32
Dividend Yield
1.62%
Market Cap
$289.83 billion
Rev. per Employee
$754,157
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/zigman2/quotes/208900023/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 61.13
+0.71 +1.18%
Volume: 4.87M
Sept. 18, 2020 4:04p
P/E Ratio
21.37
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$35.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.27M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205492029/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 184.56
+3.25 +1.79%
Volume: 543,872
Sept. 18, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
14.22
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$10.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.72M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,657.42
-244.56 -0.88%
Volume: 703.89M
Sept. 18, 2020 5:15p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,319.47
-37.54 -1.12%
Volume: 4.09B
Sept. 18, 2020 5:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
10,793.28
-116.99 -1.07%
Volume: 5.26M
Sept. 18, 2020 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
368.78
-2.45 -0.66%
Volume: 0.00
Sept. 18, 2020 11:03p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed
US : U.S.: ICE Futures U.S.
93.00
+0.03 +0.03%
Volume: 0.00
Sept. 18, 2020 6:02p
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/zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime
US : CoinDesk
10,986.40
+86.23 +0.79%
Volume: 0.00
Sept. 19, 2020 12:02a
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