Pharmacy shares dive as US stocks open lower

Pharmacy shares dive as US stocks open lower
Click for full image

New York: Shares of pharmacy retailers were hammered early Thursday as Amazon entered the market and as Wall Street stocks retreated amid worries over trade tensions.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3 percent at 24,037.74.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent to 2,696.18, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.1 percent to 7,437.28.

Amazon announced it was acquiring online pharmacy PillPack for terms that were undisclosed, its biggest move yet into healthcare. Amazon shares rose 0.2 percent.

But the move by Amazon pummeled pharmacy chains, with CVS Health diving 6.9 percent and Rite Aid plunging 12.6 percent.

Another big pharmacy chain, new Dow component Walgreens Boots Alliance, dropped 8.7 percent. Walgreens Boots also reported mixed earnings, announcing a new $10 billion share repurchase program but lower comparable store sales.

Trade war fears continued to weigh on sentiment. On Wednesday, US stocks opened higher after the Trump administration backed off a plan to restrict Chinese investment in US companies but reversed course after a top Trump advisor warned additional tariffs could be imposed on Beijing.

AFP