UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) Leads the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI)’s Big Gains

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)It’s another strong start to a short week for the markets today, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) is capitalizing on strong economic data. The blue-chip index has lost some of its earlier chart-breaking gains, but it’s still hanging on to of 96 points as of 2:20 p.m. EDT. Only a handful of the Dow’s 30 components have missed out on the party, while several have made substantial gains. Let’s check out the top movers and stories behind the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI)’s rise.

Investors feeling confident again
Optimism’s on the rise as consumers increasingly believe in the economy’s recovery. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index climbed to a five-year high of 76.2 in May, up greatly from April’s 69. The housing recovery has helped the economy’s fortunes, as home prices rose nearly 11% year over year in March as measured by S&P and Case-Shiller.

The good feelings have helped UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)‘s stock gain 2.3% to top the Dow today. Despite the uncertainty over health care reform coming next year, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) investors found some stability when the company decided not to immediately participate in California’s state insurance exchange next year, joining several other public insurers. It’s potentially an opportunity lost for UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), but with rising premiums due to Obamacare still a concern, America’s largest insurer is playing health care reform safely. However, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)’s caution could be WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP)‘s gain. The country’s second-largest insurer is a major player in California’s individual-insurance market, and if its biggest public competitor is out of the race for millions of previously uninsured consumers, WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) could narrow the market-share gap between it and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH).

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)‘s also having a good day, with shares of the entertainment giant jumping 1.5% so far. The company has been reaping the rewards of its Marvel property in the past few weeks as superhero film Iron Man 3 continues to rock the box office. The movie picked up another $36.8 million at the worldwide box office this past weekend, bringing its cumulative run to a whopping $1.14 billion and making the film the fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time. Between Iron Man and Marvel’s The Avengers, which made more than $1.5 billion at the box office, this branch has been a cash cow for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) lately and should continue its winning ways with more films planned for the future.

The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) is trailing the Dow today, ranking at the bottom of the index with losses of 1.1%. Investors are still dealing with the fallout of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)’s announced CEO shake-up as former CEO A. G Lafley returns to the company he once presided over. The move sent The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)’s stock racing higher last week, but Lafley faces challenges in his comeback. P&G has seen sales fall in certain segments as competition ramps up, and while Lafley intends to continue his predecessor’s cost-cutting moves, he’ll need to come up with a plan to re-establish P&G’s dominance in the consumer market in order for his return to pay off for investors.

The article UnitedHealth Leads the Dow’s Big Gains originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Carroll.

Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble, UnitedHealth Group, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and WellPoint. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney and WellPoint.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

Rito Pls Buff: The 10 Least Played Champions in LoL Season 4

10 Covers of Popular Songs that are Better than the Originals

Must See TV: The 9 Most Anticipated Shows of 2015

The 15 Biggest Box Office Bombs of All Time

10 Things The World Can’t Stand About Americans

Picture Perfect: The 6 Smartphones with the Best Cameras

The 10 Best Countries To Work In the World

A Profitable Day At The Track: 5 Tips For Betting On Horses

Tearing You Apart: 6 Bad Habits That Ruin Relationships

Learning on the Job: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Shopaholics Rejoice: The 12 Biggest Malls in the World

Fright Night: 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

Mach Mania: The 10 Fastest Jets in the World

Military Heavyweights: The 10 Countries with the Most Tanks

All In: The 7 Richest Poker Players in the World

Abracadabra: The 10 Best Magicians in the World

The 10 Richest Asian Countries in the World in 2014

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

The Top 10 Richest Actors in the World

The 10 Best Airline Stocks to Invest In Before They Fly Too High

Burger Kings: The 10 Most Expensive Burgers in the World

The 10 Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World

The 10 Most Exclusive Credit Cards in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!