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Stock market hiccup: not so much about health-care decision

But some investors still grumbled that the Supreme Court's health-care decision might dampen business confidence and inhibit companies from hiring new workers.

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A specialist works with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, as stocks dropped following news that the Supreme Court upheld the provision of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that requires almost all Americans to carry health insurance.

Richard Drew/AP

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The US Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Obama’s health-care policy caught Wall Street, in addition to others, by surprise. Many investors had expected at least part of the landmark legislation to be thrown out.

Immediately after the decision was announced, the stock market, which was already in a glum mood because of worries over Europe, sank further. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was down about 95 points just before the decision, fell another 50 points. But by the end of the day, the Dow average had regained much of its losses, only falling 24.75 points to close at 12602.26.

Ironically, health-care stocks had a pretty good day. But some investors still grumbled that the Supreme Court decision might dampen business confidence and inhibit companies from hiring new workers.

“The labor market stopped recovering after the Affordable Care Act was passed,” said Barry Knapp, head of US Equity Portfolio Strategy at Barclays Capital in New York, speaking on CNBC. “There has been weak demand for hiring from small business.”

Many felt the decision would result in an even more polarized Congress, which would make the chances of an agreement on the budget less likely before the November elections.

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