GLOBAL MARKETS-Healthcare slump weighs on Wall St; U.S. yields rise

Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:20pm EDT
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* 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 for first time in four sessions (Adds close of U.S. 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 U.S. shares edged lower after a slump in healthcare and biotech stocks.

The S&P healthcare sector ended 1.5 percent lower, 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 further gains. Major energy stocks such as BP and Total were among the decliners.

Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have fallen about 4 percent in the third quarter, while revenue is expected to have declined 3.8 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.   Continued...