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Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH): Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (.DJI) Moves Higher on the Back of These Stocks

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published yesterday, after market close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute rose higher by 89 points, or 0.61%, today, after positive factory orders data and a higher-than-expected Medicare reimbursement rate were announced this morning. The other two indexes also climbed but not quite as high as the blue-chip average. The Nasdaq managed to gain 0.48%, while the S&P 500 added 0.52% today.

The Commerce Department’s report on factory orders indicated that increased orders for aircraft and automobiles helped pull the average higher, even though machinery and equipment performed poorly during the month of February. For more about the report and a few stocks it affected, click here.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH)

Now let’s dive into what stocks performed well this afternoon.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc.(NYSE:UNH) boosted the Dow higher after jumping 4.7% today. The rise came as a result of the announcement that Medicare Advantage’s reimbursements would be higher by 3.3% in coming years. This came after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services previously announced that reimbursement rates would fall 2.2%.

Other Dow components operating in the health-care industry also rose. Both Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) climbed more than 1%, precisely gaining 1.26% and 1.35%, respectively. Not only will the insurance companies realize higher revenues and, hopefully, larger profits due to the increased reimbursement rates, but the drug manufacturers should also see revenues at least remain level. The large drug providers usually have negotiated rates with Medicare and this is a sign that they may have the ability to contract higher prices.

Another big winner today was The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) , whose shares jumped 1.94% after the company sold $2 billion worth of 10-year bonds at just 85 basis points over what 10-year Treasury notes are selling for. This is a great sign that the market believes in the long-term profitably of the company and should be encouraging to current shareholders.

The article Dow Moves Higher on the Back of These Stocks originally appeared on

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow’s winners and losers of the day and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513.

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

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