The GovCon Index stumbled from the open to close at a loss of 0.279Â points to 75.052 as U.S. stock declines mirrored a fall in commodities such as oil and investors continued to speculate over when the next interest rate increases could occur.
Los Angeles-based health insurance providerÂ Health Net (NYSE: HNT) led Index gainers at 3.67Â percent after the $6.3 billion takeover offer for the company by St. Louis-based Centene (NYSE: CNC)Â was approved byÂ California’s insurance regulatory agency.
Shares in Centene climbed 3.84Â percent and the company subsequently said it expectsÂ toÂ “to close the transaction shortly.”
A shortened trade week due to U.S. markets being closed on Good Friday has held down volume and investors reacted to more comments from Federal Reserve officials that the central bank could raise interest rates more than the two times traders had expected, Reuters reported.
Crude oil futures in New York settled down 4 percent to $39.79 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said the country’s stockpile increased 9.4 billion barrels last week to nearly triple analyst expectations, according to Reuters.
Top GovCon Index Gainers
|Symbol||Company||$ Current Price||Net Change||% Change|
|HII||Huntington Ingalls Industries||138.39||0.80||+0.32%|
* Also listed in the S&P 500 composite index
|Advancing GovCon Index Issues||10|
|Declining GovCon Index Issues||20|
|Unchanged GovCon Index Issues||0|
|Index||Value||Net Change||% Change|
|S&P 500||2, 036.71||-13.09||-0.64%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||17, 502.59||-79.98||-0.45%|