Poor showing by health stocks helps push markets lower


Health care stocks plunged and the entire market caught a cold today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2 percent to 7,182, the S&P 500 dropped 1.6 percent to 753 and Nasdaq declined 2.4 percent to 1,391. News that President Obama's budget would cut funds for private insurers under Medicare hurt hospital operators like HealthSouth (HLS) and Kindred Healthcare (KND), which both fell more 14 percent, and drug companies such as Amgen (AMGN) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT), which shed 9.4 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.

The possibility of an additional $750 billion in money to bail out troubled banks pushed financial stocks higher. SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) and Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) both gained more than 18 percent.