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 Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

6 Movies That You Should Watch to Better Understand The Cold War

Top 15 Best Paying Jobs for Women in 2014

Top 6 Things Rich People Do Differently Every Day

5 Retirement Mistakes To Avoid (and Einstein’s Famous Quote)

11 Smartest People in the World

6 Films About the Financial World You Need To Watch (While “The Wolf” is Not Around)

Warren Buffett and Billionaires Are Crazy About These 7 Stocks

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top 6 Tax Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Top Businesses to Invest In

Top 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong With Your Business

Top 5 Strategic Technology Trends in 2014

Top Rags to Riches Stories

Parenting Behavior That Promotes Future Leaders

Top 5 Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

Top 5 Most Common and Potentially Devastating Financial Blunders

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs for Web Designers

Top 6 Most Respected Professions that Also Pay Well

Top 5 Pitfalls Investors Should Avoid

Top 6 Lawyers and Policy Makers Under 30

Top 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Top 7 Locations to Check in on Facebook

Top 5 Mistakes made by Rookie eBay Sellers

Top 7 eBook Publishers in 2013

Top 6 Health Industry Trends in 2014

5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Seth Godin

Top 5 Success Tips from Jordan Belfort – the Wolf of Wall Street

Best Master’s in Finance Degree Programs

Top 6 Earning Celebrities Over 50

The most expensive sports to play

Top 7 Earning Celebrities Under 25

Best 7 Online Courses to Take: Free Finance MOOCs

Top 6 Bad Habits that Promote Failure

20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams in the World in 2013

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!