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Markets Shrug at CEO Announcement for Amazon-Backed Healthcare Initiative

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   June 20, 2018

The long-awaited announcement of who would head the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase joint healthcare initiative spurred conversation but limited stock activity. 

Dr. Atul Gawande's selection to head the joint healthcare project by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase elicited reaction across the healthcare sector, including on Wall Street.

Related: Atul Gawande Named CEO of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Healthcare Initiative

The announcement came Wednesday morning after months of speculation as to who would head the venture seeking to solve the "tapeworm" of high healthcare costs. Gawande, who is a surgeon by trade as well as a professor and journalist, will now head a healthcare organization financed by three prominent entrepreneurs.

The choice by Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon has been the talk of the healthcare industry, with many keeping an eye on how the markets would react to news of Gawande's appointment.

Related: Amazon's Healthcare Venture: Game-Changer or 'Passion Project'?

Overall, the market dipped slightly, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing the day down 42 points. The Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index, however, rose slightly by 0.29%

The three organizations behind the project experienced a mixed day on the trading floor:

  • Amazon Inc. was up 0.89%

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. was up 0.05%

  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was down 0.51%

Competing healthcare organizations and corporate retailers entering the space also ended session with a mixed performance, though it was a better showing than the market reaction to the initial announcement in January, when stock prices hit a significant slide.

  • Cigna Corp. fell by 0.17%;

  • Anthem Inc. finished down 0.22%;

  • UnitedHealth Group Inc. was down by 0.08%;

  • Aetna Inc. was up 0.5 %

  • Humana Inc. was up 0.15%

  • CVS Health Corp. finished up 1.17%

  • Walmart Inc. finished the day even at $83.61

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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