One stock chart sums up everything that’s going on in corporate America right now (CVS)

  • CVS, which owns pharmacies as well as operates a pharmacy benefit manager, saw its stock drop sharply on Thursday when it emerged that Amazon has been approved for wholesale pharmacy licenses for at least 12 states
  • Then The Wall Street Journal reported that CVS had offered to buy health-insurance company Aetna and the shares rallied.
  • The sudden moves in CVS’ stock price neatly encapsulate a broader shift in corporate America: sit still and risk getting disrupted, or go out and strike a deal. 

The chart above says it all.

On Thursday afternoon, Samantha Liss at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Amazon had been approved for wholesale pharmacy licenses for at least 12 states. The news sent a number of stocks down, including CVS, Walgreens, and Express Scripts. 

Less than 90 minutes later, a Wall Street Journal report that CVS has offered to buy health-insurance company Aetna, sending the stock tearing higher. 

Corporate America is facing a decision: Go out and do deals to shore up their competitive position, and take their fate in to your own hands, or sit still and risk getting disrupted.

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