Health care industry stocks, tracked by the investment firm HealthCare Markets Group, rose 1.9 percent in 1998.
Managed care stock prices fell 6.7 percent last year, faring better than their 11.8 percent slide in 1997. Physician practice management shares dropped 38.1 percent, while long-term care companies lost 54.9 percent of their collective value.
On the upside, shares of large pharmaceutical companies rose 35.2 percent. Drug-distribution companies were red hot — their stocks collectively advanced 66.7 percent.