Slim Pickings to Find Today's Losers

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

In a surprising turn of events today, the Federal Reserve shocked Wall Street by voting against tapering its bond-buying program. With that news, the markets rallied and all three of the major indexes moved nearly 1% higher. The laggard was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , which rose a mere 0.95%, or 147 points, while the S&P 500 jumped the most at 1.22% and the Nasdaq climbed higher by 1.01%. The Dow set a new all-time intraday high at 15,709 and a new record closing high at 15,676.

As the markets moved higher, only one loser could be found within the Dow: UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH  ) , which lost 1.71%. The move comes at a critical time for the company as the Obamacare exchanges are set to open up for business on October 1 and at this time it's clear neither the company nor shareholders know how the exchanges are going to affect profits. UnitedHealth is up 34.66% year to date even after today's decline and while the Dow itself is only higher by 19.63%, it's likely that the recent declining share price is due to investor uncertainty about the future and pulling their money out before the exchanges open for business.

Outside the Dow, two of the other big losers of the day were also health insurance companies as Cigna (NYSE: CI  ) and WellPoint (NYSE: ANTM  )  also inched lower. Cigna lost 2.95% while WellPoint fell 4.4%. Again both companies have had great runs over the past 52 weeks as Cigna is up more than 77% and WellPoint has risen nearly 50%, which gives current shareholders a lot to lose in the last quarter of the year if the exchanges turn out to be bad for business.

Another possible loser to the exchanges could be Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX  ) , which lost 4.64%. As employees move to the exchanges for health-care coverage for their employees, Express Scripts may lose business. Walgreen has announced that it will offer 160,000 of its employees insurance through one of the exchanges and that's causing today's move. As more employers offer coverage, Express Scripts and other pharmacy benefit management companies could lose business.  

In spite of everything that happened today, investors must remember that they don't yet know how changes related to Obamacare will affect any of these businesses. With that said, if you're a shareholder, the best course of action is to sit tight until there is accurate information on which to base a buy or sell decision.

More Foolish insight
Still in the dark about how Obamacare might affect you and your portfolio? The Motley Fool's special report, "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare," takes a 360-degree look at how the law may impact your taxes, health insurance, and investments. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 18, 2013, at 10:24 PM, vireoman wrote:

    I own both WLP and ESRX, and I bought more of the latter today. (Note that Morningstar just raised the fair value of ESRX from $73 to $89). If the price falls further, I'll be buying more. The market is getting a bit frothy, and wide moat stocks like ESRX are just what the doctor ordered.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2644436, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/26/2016 8:21:23 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
ANTM $126.56 Down -1.86 -1.45%
Anthem CAPS Rating: *****
CI $131.00 Down -1.00 -0.76%
Cigna CAPS Rating: ***
ESRX $71.34 Up +0.31 +0.44%
Express Scripts CAPS Rating: *****
UNH $140.51 Down -0.53 -0.38%
UnitedHealth Group CAPS Rating: ****