Stocks Edge Higher as Investors Look Ahead to Key Inflation Reports

The stock market rose on Monday, as investors braced for more corporate earnings and the latest inflation report this week.

Overall, S&P 500 grew 0.1% to 4,138, while NASDAQ increased 0.2% to 12,567.

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Here is the ten-year chart of UnitedHealth (UNH) as of April 26, 2023, when the stock was at $483.

UnitedHealth, the nation’s leading health insurer, is comprised of two main divisions, UnitedHealthcare and Optum. Between the two divisions, UnitedHealthcare is the larger of the two, but Optum is going to be a catalyst for this company in the coming years as organizations take preventative measures to keep employees healthy. UnitedHealthcare is responsible for the provision of health insurance, while Optum aims to take preventive measures to improve a peoples health.

UnitedHealth’s profit margins decreased a tad last quarter. Its operating cost ratio increased to 14.8% last quarter, up from 14.2% a year ago due to business mix, which is the company’s expansion into lower-margin government business (Medicare Advantage). Still, last qtr’s numbers were good, with profits up 14% on 15% revenue growth. Both figures beat analyst estimates by a little bit.

UNH is part of the Conservative Growth Portfolio and Growth Portfolio.

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