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  • Two killed when F-16 collides with small plane over South Carolina
  • 04:52 PM EDT  CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A U.S. military fighter jet and a small plane collided over South Carolina on Tuesday, authorities said, killing two aboard the private plane while the military pilot ejected safely.

  • GREECE LATEST-Merkel awaits Greek plan, holds out prospect of help
  • 04:49 PM EDT  July 7 (Reuters) - Following is the latest news on Greece's debt crisis before a euro zone summit billed as the last chance for Athens to cut a rescue deal. All times are in GMT.

  • UPDATE 4-Deadly car bombs hit Yemen, day after almost 200 killed
  • 04:46 PM EDT  * Spike in violence comes amid U.N. truce efforts (updates with Islamic State claim of responsibility)

  • UPDATE 2-Clinton wants access for Puerto Rico to U.S. bankruptcy laws
  • 04:33 PM EDT  * Two U.S. senators hope to advance legislation (Adds comments by Blumenthal, Grassley spokeswoman)

  • U.S. raises concern over detention of 100 activists in Cuba
  • 04:20 PM EDT  WASHINGTON/HAVANA (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department raised concern on Tuesday about the detentions of some 100 peaceful activists in Cuba this week but said it would not slow the restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.

  • Delayed reporting seen boosting U.S. bond liquidity
  • 04:14 PM EDT  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Relaxing the required reporting time for bond trades might help restore some of the liquidity that the $8 trillion U.S. corporate debt market has lost, dealers and large investors said.

  • Fitch: US Hospitals Well Positioned for Insurer Consolidation
  • 04:01 PM EDT  (The following statement was released by the rating agency) NEW YORK, July 07 (Fitch) The for-profit hospital industry is well positioned with respect to the anticipated wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) amongst the largest for-profit health insurers, but consolidation could have some important longer term ramifications, according to Fitch Ratings. M&A amongst health insurers is not likely to immediately result in outright price pressure for hospitals. In many markets, health insurers are already fairly consolidated and recent actions by hospitals to build market presence will shore up negotiating power. However, over the longer term it could have a negative effect on competition by smaller insurers in some markets. In addition, it could accelerate the nascent shift towards value based payments for hospitals and other healthcare providers if larger insurers find it financially beneficial to advance the use of these payment models. The planned tie-up of Aetna and Humana could create the second largest national for-profit health insurer by revenue if approved by anti-trust regulators. The announcement of the merger comes on the back of some favorable developments for the hospital industry. Most importantly, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that more than 6 million enrollees in the public health insurance exchange plans created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) can keep the financial subsidies that make these plans more affordable. In part because of the ACA-related expansion of health insurance coverage, hospitals have recently experienced a marked improvement in organic operating trends, particularly in growth of volumes of patients. Actions by hospital management teams to respond to certain challenges in the operating environment are also contributing to the industry's improved performance. These same activities are now encouraging consolidation by health insurers. Horizontal M&A activity amongst acute care hospitals to build bigger systems with more negotiating clout with payors has been a durable trend since the passage of the ACA in early 2010. More recently, hospitals have been expanding their presence in key geographies through acquisitions and financial partnerships in adjacent care delivery verticals as well as taking actions to improve financial alignment with physicians. Hospital companies will begin reporting 2Q15 results later this month. Many of the trends supporting the industry's recently improved performance remain intact, so Fitch expects another quarter of decent results. However, volume growth in particular is likely to back-off the very strong results posted in the past couple quarters. The full report, "Hospitals' Credit Diagnosis: ACA Ruling Positive but Facing Insurer Consolidation Wave" is available at www.fitchratings.com. The report provides a summary of the quarterly operating performance and credit metrics of companies in the for-profit hospital sector, including detailed debt and organizational structure charts. Contact: Megan Neuburger, CFA Managing Director +1 212 908-0501 Fitch, Inc. 33 Whitehall Street New York, NY 10004 Kellie Geressy-Nilsen Senior Director Fitch Wire +1 212 908-9123 Media Relations: Alyssa Castelli, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 908 0540, Email: alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article, which may include hyperlinks to companies and current ratings, can be accessed at www.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings. Hospitals' Credit Diagnosis (Favorable Subsidy Ruling Means the ACA Is Here to Stay) https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=867972 Applicable Criteria Corporate Rating Methodology: Including Short-Term Ratings and Parent and Subsidiary Linkage (pub. 05 Aug 2013) https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=715139 Related Research 2014 Outlook: U.S. Healthcare — Secular Challenges Require a Compelling Value Proposition https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=724141 High-Yield Healthcare Checkup: Comprehensive Analysis of High-Yield U.S. Healthcare Companies https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=700377 High-Yield Healthcare Checkup: Comprehensive Analysis of High-Yield U.S. Healthcare Companies https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=736356 Margin Preservation Strategies — Different Angles (Credit Implications for U.S. Hospitals and Health Insurers) https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=718975 The Affordable Care Act and Healthcare Providers (Assessing the Potential Impact) https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=706654 U.S. Leveraged Finance Spotlight Series - HCA Holdings, Inc. https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=721356 ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

  • Israel says Islamic State's Sinai assault aimed to help Hamas get arms
  • 04:01 PM EDT  JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel accused Hamas on Tuesday of supporting last week's assaults by Islamic State affiliates on Egyptian forces in the Sinai in hope of freeing up arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip.

  • Deals of the day-Mergers and acquisitions
  • 04:00 PM EDT  July 7 (Reuters) - The following bids, mergers, acquisitions and disposals were reported by 2000 GMT on Tuesday:

  • US STOCKS-Wall St rebounds from losses as oil prices move up
  • 03:58 PM EDT  * Indexes: Dow up 0.41 pct, S&P up 0.51 pct, Nasdaq down 0.04 pct (Updates with market gains, comment, updates prices)

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