Wall Street rises after healthcare bill is passed

US stocks advanced yesterday, boosted by gains in the healthcare sector as passage of a bill to overhaul the system eased uncertainty for investors.

The legislation was passed by the US House of Representatives late on Sunday, and while analysts have raised concerns it will pinch corporate profits, they said much of the negative impact was priced in already.

Also, hospital and drug companies could likely benefit from the bill. Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company, rose two per cent to $17.25.

“It could also be just a sigh of relief that it’s over with and nothing worse is coming. The market is showing its colours here in the face of what should have been an opening decline this morning,” said Stephen Massocca, managing director, Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 32.80 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 10,774.78. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 3.49 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 1,163.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.01 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 2,387.42.

The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index gained 1.2 per cent, putting it on track for a sixth straight session of gains. Insurer

Health Plans rose 1.8 per cent to $31.27. The debate over Greece’s fiscal woes heated up. A EC official pressed Germany to agree on a financial safety net.