P/>NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Healthcare ETfs sold off on Wednesday afternoon amid concerns that continued weakness in the economy will depress demand for prescription drugs and healthcare services.
Health insures Aetna (AET) and WellPoint (WLP) both raised their year-end outlook, citing lower medical costs as a result of fewer patient visits to hospitals. But that sparked concern that regulators may seek to reign in what insurers charge for their health plans, as they draft new rules under the healthcare reform.
ETFs exposed to the major healthcare insurers are heading lower on Wednesday afternoon. The PowerShares Dynamic Healthcare Services (PTJ) is dropping 1.5% to $19.01, while the iShares Dow Jones US HealthCare Provider (IHF) is shedding 1.5% to $44.76.
Energy sector ETFs were trading weaker after oil inventories jumped higher than expected in the week of July 23. The SPDR Energy Sector ETF (XLE) was marginally positive with its top holdings Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) heading slightly higher. The United States Oil Fund (USO) was down 0.4%.Boeing (BA) led iShares Dow Jones US Aerospace and Defense (ITA). A similarly-focused ETF -- PowerShares Aerospace & Defense (PPA) -- was up marginally. --Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV