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

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

6 Ways to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

4 Business Strategies that Turned Jamie Oliver into the World’s Richest Chef

6 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player

10 High Paying Seasonal Jobs in America this Holiday Season

The 10 Busiest Shipping Lanes in the World

5 Most Valuable Brands in China

The 10 States with Highest Substance Abuse Rates Crippling Their Populace

The Top 10 Things to Do Before You Die That Will Echo for Eternity

The 10 Best Selling Items on Etsy

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo, the Greatest City in the World

10 Mistakes on Social Media that Can Harm You and Will Probably Get You Canned

The 10 Best Cities to Find Jobs in 2014

The 10 Most Controversial Songs Of All Time to Hit (and get Banned from) the Airwaves

The 20 Biggest IPOs in US History

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Mexico that Are Beautiful and Safe

7 Bad Habits that Age You Beyond Your Years

The 40 Best Fortune Cookie Sayings That Will Leave You Bemused, Befuddled, or Beguiled

10 Foods to Eat Before a Workout to Make Every Drop of Sweat Count

The 5 Best Documentaries On Netflix You Must See

The Most Heartwarming and Inspirational Story Of This Halloween Season, It Will Make You Cry and Jump For Joy

10 Best Party Songs of All Time to Bring the House Down With

5 New World Order Conspiracy Theories that Will Strangle the World

The 10 Highest Rated Movies of 2014

The 10 Largest Container Shipping Companies in the World

The 10 Largest Armies in the World: Who Should We Be Afraid Of?

Best Warren Buffett Quotes on Money You Need to Hear

The 10 Highest Suicide Rates by Profession

The 20 Most Underrated Movies of All Time

The 10 Fastest Growing Companies in America

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!