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The S&P healthcare index dropped 1.04 percent as shares of Merck and Johnson & Johnson booked losses. Apple fell 1.23 percent after Barclays cut its price target. The stock was the biggest drag on Wall Street.
Silvio Berlusconi celebrated his 80th birthday on Thursday, away from the limelight he enjoyed for decades as a flamboyant Italian prime minister, media tycoon and owner of AC Milan. Vladimir Putin and the current Milan squad were among those who sent birthday greetings with the Russian president phoning his old pal to wish him "rude health and success", the Kremlin said. Matteo Renzi, Italy's current prime minister said he had sent good wishes privately, although he couldn't resist a swipe at his predecessor in an interview with the newspaper Il Foglio.