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These Dow Downers Spoiled Yesterday's Rally

Dan Caplinger
September 19, 2013

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.

Investors hoping for the stock markets to follow through on their gains from yesterday were disappointed with today's market moves as two key stock benchmarks were unable to put together further advances after setting new all-time record highs on Wednesday. Between the inevitable revisiting of the monetary-policy question and other potential roadblocks such as the federal budget, it wasn't surprising to see a pullback. All in all, though, the declines were modest, with the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) falling 40 points and the S&P 500 down just 0.2%.

Among the stocks pulling the Dow down was UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH), which dropped 3%. The reason for today's drop wasn't immediately obvious, although the company's approach to the coming implementation of Obamacare has some investors nervous. Uncertainty often causes short-term traders to push stocks downward, and with private employers starting to move their employee plans to private health exchanges