Dow Dips Slightly On A Very Slow Day For The Markets

The Dow fell flat in trading today, losing 23.60 points to close at 18,116.84. The S&P 500 dipped slightly as well, losing just 0.64 points to close at 2,109.66. Only the NASDAQ was up, rising 5 points to 4,960.97, thanks mostly to a tech-heavy portfolio that saw good growth on the day. Volume was way down today, with 40% fewer trades taking place as investors held back on the sidelines. Overseas trading was mixed, with London's FTSE losing ground while Germany's DAX and Japan's Nikkei saw modest gains.

Health Services Is The Hottest Sector, Hands Down.  For weeks now, the Health Services sector has been trending upward despite fluctuation in the broader market.

In spite of today's moderate losses, the sector bucked the trend and added 11% gains. Profits are stretching to every corner, with insurers and holding companies growing on higher enrollment. Investors should also be paying attention to the labs and diagnostics companies that sell their services to healthcare providers.

Big Growth For Insurers.  Healthcare insurers Humana (HUM) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) both had an excellent day today. Humana added 8.40 points and closed the day's trading at 164.52 per share, bringing its 5-day gains to 7.76%. UnitedHealth Group did nearly as well, growing by 3.78 points to close at 116.40.

Labs Making Money Too.  Companies like National Research Corp (NRCIB), Omnicare Inc (OCR), and Laboratory Company of America Holdings (LH) all saw their share prices increase today. National Research Corp gained 1.36 points on the day, and closed at 34.38 per share. Omnicare was also up 1.36 points, or 1.76%, to close at 78.54. Laboratory Company of America Holdings saw an increase of 1.82 points to finish the day trading at 122.90 per share. Continued growth is expected in the sector, and there are opportunities to be had for investors of every skill level and budget.

The Bottom Falls Out On Boeing.  Share price took a steep nosedive for Boeing (BA) today, falling -3.57 to 154.74. Goldman Sachs (GA) downgraded the stock from hold to sell this morning, over concerns that falling oil prices and the low sales numbers of Boeing's new Dreamliner passenger jets will drag profits down over the course of this quarter. Goldman Sachs lost -1.20 points on the day, partially over pushback on the downgrade decision -- which CNBC's Jim Kramer took a public stand against.

Apple And Microsoft Up, Google Down Slightly.  Apple (AAPL) added another 3.50 points today, closing at a record-high 133.00 per share. Microsoft (MSFT) also had a good day, growing by 0.67%, or 0.29 points, to finish at 44.15 per share. Google (GOOG) didn't fare as well. The search giant dropped just over -7 points to end the day's trading at 531.91 per share.

Published on Feb 23, 2015
By Aaron Phillips
Aaron Phillips is a financial researcher and journalist based out of Michigan. He regularly writes the IG Daily and IG Weekly columns.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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