GLOBAL MARKETS-Wall Street hit by healthcare slump; U.S. yields rise
* U.S. shares lower after healthcare, biotech shares slide
* European shares slip on profit-taking
* Treasury yields rise on strong U.S. housing starts data
* Euro rises against dollar on ECB officials' comments (Adds close of European markets)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday on signs of improvement in the U.S. housing market, while Wall Street was mostly lower after a slump in healthcare and biotech stocks.
The S&P healthcare sector fell 1.6 percent, dragged down by Allergan and Pfizer, while a drop in IBM shares also offset gains in companies that reported strong quarterly results such as Verizon and United Technologies .
European shares ended lower, with traders citing profit-taking in the absence of anything to justify extending the recent gains. Major energy stocks such as BP and Total were among the decliners.
S&P 500 companies are expected to show a 3.9-percent fall in third-quarter profit and revenue is expected to fall 3.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. Continued...