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Data: Money.net; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Health care stocks skyrocketed after Tuesday's election results indicated Republicans likely will maintain control of the Senate, all but assuring continued gridlock in both chambers of Congress.

The big picture: A Republican Senate means "the public option and direct government negotiation on drug prices are dead for at least the next two years," Spencer Perlman, an analyst at Veda Partners, wrote to investors Wednesday.

The winners: Health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and medical device firms scored the biggest stock gains.

  • The status quo has been lucrative for pretty much every sector of the health care industry, and the prospect of no major federal reform under Biden or President Trump would insulate employer coverage, which is the ultimate pot of gold.

Yes, but: The Supreme Court is about to hear a case that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act. If the conservative majority strikes down the entire law, the industry would face considerable upheaval after spending the past decade incorporating the law into their businesses.

  • Hospitals would be most affected by the Supreme Court invalidating the ACA: Millions of people would lose Medicaid and individual health coverage, resulting in more uncompensated care. Stocks of hospital companies like HCA Healthcare and Tenet Healthcare were down Wednesday.

Flashback: This same health care stock surge happened after the 2018 midterms guaranteed congressional gridlock.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

Biden speaking before the signing on June 17. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

"Great nations don't ignore their most painful moments," President Biden said before signing legislation Thursday that establishes Juneteenth as a federal holiday, just two days before the occasion.

Why it matters: The holiday, which will be known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, is now the 11th annual federal holiday and the first one established since the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
48 mins ago - Podcasts

House antitrust chair discusses the bills to bust up Big Tech

House lawmakers last week introduced a series of five bipartisan bills designed to curb the power of Big Tech, targeting Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google in all but name.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the House antitrust committee and a sponsor on most of the bills, to learn how he plans to get these measures over the finish line. The congressman from Rhode Island also faces a slate of other priorities and in the wake of a spending package to bolster the U.S. tech sector’s ability to compete with China.