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Health care's Q3 earnings bonanza

This week will feature 26 major health care companies, including Centene, Gilead and Merck, showering investors with third-quarter profits and initial outlooks for 2019.

The bottom line: Based on the first week of the Q3 earnings season, the health care industry is raking in record profits and is more powerful than ever. The first seven health care companies to report — which include giants like UnitedHealth Group, Johnson & Johnson, Walgreens and Novartis — took home $11.8 billion of profit combined. That’s 10% higher than the same period a year ago.