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US: Stocks edge lower; CVS buys Omnicare


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks edged lower in opening trade on Thursday following news that CVS Health would acquire senior pharmacy services company Omnicare for US$12.7 billion.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,270.55, down 14.85 points (0.08 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.73 (0.03 per cent) to 2,125.12, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 2.72 (0.05 per cent) to 5,069.03.

CVS said the purchase of Omnicare will enable it to boost prescription sales in assisted-living and long-term care facilities. The transaction comes on the heels of numerous deals in the pharma and healthcare industries.

The muted opening trade follows modest moves earlier in the week. "The stock market has logged three full days of trading this week and it has basically gone nowhere," said analyst Patrick O'Hare.