The healthcare sector remains a sweet spot for the stock market, ranked the most favored sector on the S&P 500 among Wall Street research firms, Reuters reported.
Overall, the sector saw stocks rise 4.7 percent in 2018, while the benchmark index declined 6.2 percent. Healthcare was one of just two of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors to post positive returns last year.
Heading into 2019, investors remain positive about healthcare, citing an upbeat earnings outlook, among other factors, according to Reuters.
Early reports during the end-of-year earnings season also bode well for the sector. UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, beat earnings expectations for the fourth quarter of 2018 after reporting its earnings results Tuesday. Its pharmacy benefit manager unit, Optum, reported $27.56 billion in revenue, a 13 percent increase from the year prior.
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