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A US federal judge on Monday blocked Aetna's proposed $37 billion acquisition of rival health insurer Humana, ruling the combination would stifle competition in the health sector. US District Judge John Bates upheld the essential arguments of antitrust regulators who sued to block the deal, saying that combining two of the big five American health insurers would harm consumers. "The Court concludes that the proposed merger is likely to substantially lessen competition," Bates said in a 158-page decision.
U.S. stock indexes were headed for a modestly lower close in late-afternoon trading Monday, with energy companies leading the slide as oil prices fell. Real estate and phone company stocks rose as bond yields headed lower. Investors pored over the latest crop of company earnings and deal news. They also had their eye on Washington, where President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to slash regulations on businesses and tax foreign goods entering the country.