Wal-Mart announcement sends drug retailers lower

Wall Street was mixed at midday on Thursday. The Nasdaq Composite was 0.1 percent higher to 2,254.27, but the S&P 500 was 0.1 percent lower to 1,324.36 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 0.2 percent to 11,592.38. The declines for the Dow and the S&P still left them near all-time and 5-year highs respectively.

An announcement from Wal-Mart that it will sell 30-day supplies of generic drugs for $4 in a trial program sent shares in drug retailers lower. Walgreen dropped 6 percent to $46.97, while CVS fell 9.2 percent to $32.18. The news also sent pharmacy benefit managers, the administrators for corporate and insurance prescription drug plans, lower. Medco Health Solutions dropped 3.4 percent to $60.75, while Caremark Rx was 4.3 percent lower to $56.56.

Carnival, the cruise ship operator, added 4.6 percent to $45.58 on better than expected third quarter earnings, mainly due to declining fuel costs.

Oil stocks were up as crude oil prices rose. BJ Services was 2.6 percent higher to $29.93, while Consol Energy added 5.9 percent to $30.78.

Food manufacturers saw gains on the strength of positive quarterly results. ConAgra, which makes Hebrew National hotdogs among other products, was 3.4 percent higher to $24.04, while breakfast cereal maker General Mills gained 3.7 percent to $54.97.


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