The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Yesterday, UnitedHealth Group posted $3.5 billion of profit in the first quarter — its second-most profitable quarter ever — and collected more than $60 billion of revenue.

Between the lines: UnitedHealth's stock price also tanked by 4%, which consequently dragged down shares of the other major health insurers and hospital chains. Cigna’s stock price plummeted 8%, and Anthem and Humana were close behind. HCA tumbled 10%.

  • Many investment bank analysts were perplexed by the sell-off, considering that UnitedHealth has more cash than it knows what to do with. 
  • Steven Halper of Cantor Fitzgerald wrote to investors: "What more can you ask for? Take advantage of poor sentiment."

Driving the news: Wall Street remains fearful of "Medicare for All" becoming a reality, and UnitedHealth CEO Dave Wichmann tried to get ahead of the message by telling investors that single-payer would "jeopardize" people’s care.

The big picture: Medicare for All discussions matter far more to Wall Street right now, and that makes the industry’s Q1 financial reports a lot less important.

Go deeper: Political uncertainty could bring volatility to health care stocks

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 a.m. ET: 33,282,969 — Total deaths: 1,000,867 — Total recoveries: 23,066,203Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 a.m. ET: 7,148,009 — Total deaths: 205,069 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.

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