Health-care company shares declined on worries in the insurance market, while M&A activity continued.

Shares of major health insurers dropped after UnitedHealth Group executives forecast a "disturbance" in its Medicaid business and addressed patients' utilization of healthcare services at an investor conference.

Merck struck a $1.3 billion deal to buy Eyebiotech, a move that would push the big drugmaker into the large and growing market for eye care. Under the terms, Merck would pay the $1.3 billion in cash upfront to acquire the closely held biotech, Merck said. Merck could make an additional $1.7 billion in milestone payments for the company, which goes by the name EyeBio.

Write to Patrick Sullivan at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-29-24 1724ET