Is the Health-Care Law Dragging Down the Dow?

The markets are trading lower this morning, but after Monday's Ben Bernanke easy-money-fueled run, a slight retracement is not surprising. We should also take a moment to congratulate delicious organic foods purveyor Annie's (NYS: BNNY) for a successful IPO that has seen shares surge 70% on their first day of trading.

Let's take a closer look at how the major indexes are doing and some individual stocks making headlines.


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Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)








S&P 500




Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Oral arguments over the Affordable Care Act continue at the Supreme Court. Today, the court is hearing arguments over the constitutionality of the whole act, not just the individual mandate, which it heard yesterday. If the act is upheld as law, but the individual mandate ruled unconstitutional, it could be disastrous for insurers since they would be forced to cover high-risk populations without balancing it out with the low-risk pool that generally avoids insurance. Insurers will likely spread these higher costs to their customers via higher premiums, further incentivizing citizens to stay off insurance until they get sick. Although health-care providers don't affect the Dow, the Supreme Court's eventual decision will have a wide ranging impact across the economy.

Stealing headlines: biotech Amylin (NAS: AMLN) popped 50% on news of a rebuffed buyout attempt from big pharma member Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYS: BMY) . Amylin is best known for its twice daily diabetes drug Byetta, but recently received FDA approval for a once weekly version called Bydureon after ending a troubled partnership with Eli Lilly (NYS: LLY) . Now that Amylin is "in play," expect another takeover attempt from Bristol, or a pipeline-starved competitor -- save Lilly, which probably can't woo Amylin back.

A better approach
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At the time thisarticle was published David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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