US Markets

Winners and losers after Friday's pulled health-care bill

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act outside the Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters

Health-care stock performance diverged Friday after the controversial GOP health care bill was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives.

UnitedHealth, Anthem and Cigna closed lower. The three stocks would have been among the top winners if the bill had passed, Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Cigna fell 2.25 percent in its worst day of the year so far. The stock was also the worst performer in the S&P 500's health care sector. The second worst performer was Anthem, which fell more than 1.5 percent in its worst day since Feb. 17.

Health care sector five-day performance

Source: FactSet

On the other hand, hospital stocks leaped. The industry is among those opposed to the health-care proposal as it was expected to result in an increase in Americans without health insurance, which could drive up hospital losses. Tenet Healthcare shares climbed 7.4 percent in its best day since March 3. Community Health Systems gained more than 9.5 percent and Acadia Healthcare rose nearly 6 percent.

In managed care, Molina rose 4.6 percent in its best day since Nov. 14, while Centene gained 5.2 percent in its best day in more than a month.

The overall health-care stock sector closed 0.02 percent lower, down 1.3 percent for the week, its worst performance since Jan. 20, amid tense Congressional debate over the GOP health-care proposal.

The decision to pull the bill occurred late in Friday's trading session, sending the stock sector for a choppy last half hour of trade. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) closed off session highs, up 0.37 percent.

"I think we have to let Obamacare go its way a little while," President Donald Trump said in a press conference late Friday afternoon. He added tax reform would be the next priority for Congress.

— CNBC's Gina Francolla, Bertha Coombs, and Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.

Speaker Ryan: Came close, but 'came up short'