NEW YORK -- If investors expect President Obama's health-care law to freeze the U.S. economy, they're not showing it in the stock market.
Data compiled by Bloomberg show that equities are rising even as opponents ranging from House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist warn the program will stifle free enterprise.
Although values of stocks of health-insurance companies have dropped since the ruling, gains in everything else show investors remain focused on earnings growth, employment, and efforts by European leaders to contain the debt crisis, said David Kelly, who helps oversee $394 billion as JPMorgan Funds' chief market strategist.
"People have very strong political opinions and very weak analytical and investment opinions related to health care," Mr. Kelly said.
"The European summit that occurred that Thursday and Friday was far more important for global financial markets than the President's health-care act. You saw that in the market's reaction."
E. William Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia, said investors are more interested in the effect Europe's debt crisis will have on corporate earnings.
Profits in the S&P 500 are projected to climb 7.2 percent this year and 12 percent in 2013, according to more than 10,000 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at UBS, cut his forecast for the S&P 500 this year to 1,375 from 1,475 this week, citing a polarized political environment, which makes it difficult for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to reach agreement on economic questions.