A terrific day, with 3 stocks advancing for every 1 declining, volume moderate, as we again approach the highs for the year. It's been a fairly broad advance, with particularly strength in financials and cyclicals like consumer discretionary and industrials.
Health care is finally showing life as Aetna is the most recent HMO to post excellent earnings. The two key metrics are the Medical Loss Ratio (MRL) — the percentage of premium revenues that pay for medical services.
It came in at about 80 percent, several percentage points below most analyst estimates. Why? Better pricing and lower costs--flu season was more mild than expected, for example.
The other key metric — enrollment — also improving. AET raised their full year outlook.
The loser: Many big cap energy companies, which are getting hit on fallout from the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon spill.
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