In the news
Republican lawmakers are trying to figure out how Donald Trump's administration can quickly reduce required health insurance benefits under the Affordable Care Act to cut costs of plans, Bloomberg News reported. These health benefits cover drugs, mental care and wellness. Trump could exercise his authority to issue executive orders to limit the benefit rules and avoid confrontation with Congress, the report said.
Despite a blockbuster IPO by Athene Holding Ltd. in the final month of 2016, public offerings in the insurance space were exceedingly rare for a second consecutive year, underscoring the impact of ultra-low interest rates on the industry as a whole, notes an S&P Global Market Intelligence report. But as the smoke clears from the U.S. presidential election and June's unexpected Brexit decision, industry experts anticipate that the IPO market will pick up early in 2017.
States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act were found to have higher employment rates among people with disabilities compared to those in nonexpansion states, according to an American Journal of Public Health report, Reuters Health reported. About 38% of the disabled survey participants were employed in states with expanded Medicaid after the ACA took effect, compared to 32% in states that did not expand Medicaid. according to the report.
Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd. agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of AstraZeneca Insurance Co. Ltd. from its owner, AstraZeneca UK Ltd.
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Co. is considering expanding its business to Japan, Tokyo's The Nikkei reported. The U.S. P&C insurer sees potential in reinsuring earthquake insurance in the Asian country and aims to start operations in the first half of 2018, the publication reported.
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its A long-term counterparty credit rating on Chubb Ltd. and its AA financial strength rating on its core insurance entities. The ratings outlook is stable.
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.
Cardinal Health settles painkiller probe; R&D proving costly to drugmakers: The world's biggest pharmaceutical companies are focusing more on drugs from their own labs as they grapple with declining yields of their research and development efforts.
Financial news in other parts of the world
Latin America: BNDES makes 100B reais repayment; Argentina revamps finance ministry
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.03% to 19,403.06. In Europe, around midday, the Euronext 100 was up 0.28% to 932.74.
On the macro front
The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI report, the consumer confidence report, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index and the State Street Investor Confidence Index are due out today.