Health insurers seem to want to get cozy with one another. On Monday, Anthem made its second bid in 10 days for Cigna, offering $175 a share, according to a Bloomberg report that cited unidentified sources. That caused both stocks to spike in midday trading.
Anthem's bid for Cigna represents the latest in what Bloomberg described as a "consolidation wave" in the health insurance industry. In May, Cigna targeted another health insurer, Humana (HUM), as a possible takeover target.
The spike in mergers in the industry is due to the Affordable Care Act, Bloomberg said. With more people signing up for health care coverage and the law putting pressure on profits, consolidation may be one way companies can cut costs while growing.
Anthem climbed 2.3% to $164.44 in New York, while Cigna rose 12% to $153.50.
Wells Fargo sent its mobile response unit to Houston to help clients get their financial lives back on track after flooding that devastated the region last month.
The bank describes its mobile response unit as a 75-foot, heavy-duty commercial "office on wheels;" it's equipped with private offices and backup generators. Team members are available to help customers quickly process insurance claim checks, and mortgage specialists can discuss payment options.
"One of our core beliefs is to quickly respond to communities, and customers, when they are faced with tragic disasters like this," Michael DeVito, head of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Servicing, said in a statement. "We have learned that being able to respond to customers in-person can speed up the process for recovery, and we are committed to doing our part to bring relief to customers in Houston."
Wells Fargo dropped 0.3% to $56.96.
Former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg won a courtroom victory on Monday in a lawsuit against the U.S. government.
Greenberg, whose Starr International Co. filed the suit on behalf of himself as well as investors, said the Federal Reserve went too far when it took a 79.9% stake in AIG in 2008 as part of the bailout process, alleging the government's stake amount to a theft of shareholder property.
While the judge ruled in favor of Greenberg and the shareholders, it was a somewhat hollow victory since no money was awarded because the extent of the damages could not be proven.
"If the government had done nothing to rescue AIG, the company would have gone bankrupt, and the shareholders' equity would have been worthless," U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler said in his ruling. "However harshly or improperly the government acted in nationalizing AIG, it saved AIG from bankruptcy."
AIG gained 1.1% to $62.57.