While stocks saw significant weakness throughout much of the trading day on Thursday, the markets staged a significant recovery attempt in the final hour of trading. The major averages climbed well off their worst levels of the day but still closed in negative territory.
Despite the late-day recovery attempt by the broader markets, significant weakness remained visible among biotechnology stocks. Reflecting the weakness in the biotech sector, the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index tumbled by 2.8 percent.
Vertex (VRTX) turned in one of the biotech sector's worst performances, plunging by 16.3 percent amid a negative reaction to the data from a study testing the company's new cystic fibrosis drug.
Gold stocks also saw continued weakness, resulting in a 2.1 percent loss by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The weakness among gold stocks came amid a sharp drop by the price of the precious metal, with gold for August delivery falling $28 to $1,550.40 an ounce.
Computer hardware, networking, and software stocks also remained stuck firmly in the red, contributing to the steep loss posted by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
Meanwhile, healthcare provider stocks moved sharply higher following the Supreme Court ruling, driving the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Provider Index up by 3.4 percent. Health Management Associates (HMA), Universal Health Services (UHS), and Community Health Systems (CYH) posted standout gains.
Housing, commercial real estate, and health insurance stocks also moved to the upside on the day, helping to lift the markets well off their worst levels.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed its counterparts, ending the session down 25.83 points or 0.9 percent at 2,849.49. The Dow edged down 24.75 points or 0.2 percent to 12,602.26, while the S&P 500 slipped 2.81 points or 0.2 percent to 1,329.04.
by RTT Staff Writer
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