3 Companies Dragging on the Dow

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This morning the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for 20 metropolitan areas was released, and it showed that home prices rose 1% in May, falling short of analysts' expectations of a 1.5% increase. Additionally, that was a slower growth rate than April's 1.7% and a further indication that the housing market may now be slowing down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hasn't taken the poor results too hard, down just 0.16% as of 1:55 p.m. EDT, while the S&P 500 is flat and the Nasdaq has climbed 0.28%. A few of the Dow's big losers are feeling the effects of earnings results and announcements from their competitors.

Shares of AT&T and Verizon are trading lower today after Sprint reported earnings this morning that were rather miserable. Although Sprint's revenue rose slightly during the quarter and beat analysts' expectations, earnings of $0.53 per share were much lower than the $0.31 loss Wall Street had forecast. Sprint experienced a mass exodus of customers after it shut down its Nextel network, which would seem to be a good thing for AT&T and Verizon. But investors may be plugging the numbers and realizing that the top two wireless providers may not have captured the bulk of the customers leaving Sprint. And now, armed with SoftBank's war chest, Sprint plans to have a capital-spending budget of $8 billion for the full year of 2013. Despite the fact that Sprint may be struggling now, it's clear that the company is going to fight the two big telecom companies all the way. 

Shares of UnitedHealth are down 1% today after competitor Aetna posted better-than-expected quarterly results. While Aetna is a smaller rival to UnitedHealth and WellPoint and doesn't pose a near-term threat, it's growing revenue at a much faster pace than United. Aetna reported revenue growth of 31% during the second quarter when compared to the same time frame last year, while UnitedHealth only grew revenue by 12% this past year. While UnitedHealth's size surely plays a role in the slower growth rate, the fact that Aetna is growing faster means that new business is still out there and UnitedHealth may not be getting as much of it as it could.  

Furthermore, it's still unknown how exactly Obamacare will affect the insurance business, but it will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects. The Motley Fool's new free report, "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare," lets you know how your health insurance, your taxes, and your portfolio could be affected. Click here to read more. 

The article 3 Companies Dragging on the Dow originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned.  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 The Motley Fool recommends UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint. The Motley Fool owns shares of WellPoint. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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