S&P 500 Edges Down 0.7% on Week, Led by Real Estate, Health Care; Consumer Staples Lead Gainers

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index declined 0.7% this week as the real-estate and health-care sectors logged the biggest percentage drops amid disappointing third-quarter results from a number of companies in both sectors.

The market bellwether ended Friday’s session at 2,126.41, down from 2,141.16 a week ago. All but four sectors — consumer staples, financials, industrials and utilities — were in the red for the week.

The real-estate sector, which had a number of companies report third-quarter results in the past week, fell by more than 3%. Among the decliners, Simon Property Group (SPG) fell by nearly 7% as its revenue missed estimates and a guidance boost for full-year funds from operations brought the company’s forecast merely in line with analysts’ consensus view rather than above it.

CBL & Associates Properties (CBL) was another decliner among real-estate stocks this week, posting a drop of 8.8%. The real-estate investment trust focused on regional shopping malls, outlet centers, community centers and office properties logged much of the weekly drop ahead Thursday afternoon’s third-quarter release. The report showed adjusted funds from operations slightly missed the Street view while revenue also came in below analysts’ mean estimate.

The health-care sector posted a 2.8% drop. Among the decliners, Community Health Systems (CYH) tumbled 50% as the operator of general acute-care hospitals preliminarily reported a third-quarter loss that was wider than analysts expected despite revenue coming in line with the Street view. The company cited lower-than-expected volume as well as larger-than-anticipated reductions to reimbursement from state supplemental programs.

Also among health-care stocks, Edwards Lifesciences (EW) dropped 18% this week as the provider of medical equipment and technology reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter revenue and forecast fourth-quarter revenue below the Street view.

On the upside, the consumer-staples sector posted the biggest weekly gain, up nearly 1%. Its advancers included Procter & Gamble (PG), up 3% this week. The consumer-products company released fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings per share as well as revenue above analysts’ expectations.

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