Insurance companies in Virginia have filed rate proposals for 2015 that call for significant rate increases, but nothing near the dire predictions of Obamacare opponents. The Wall Street Journal reports the proposed increases easily top overall inflation, but that's been true of health care costs for years. One of the biggest plans, Wellpoint's (WLP) Anthem HealthKeepers, is asking for an average increase of 8.5 percent. Other plans call for rate hikes of 3.3 percent to nearly 15 percent.
But it may be a bit easier to pay for those increases. Economists polled by USA Today expect wage increases to be a bit higher than they've been in recent years. That's partly because the unemployment rate has dropped sharply to 6.3 percent.
Here on Wall Street last week, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 0.4 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) was little changed and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 1.3 percent.
The Dow begins the week at a record high, but the Nasdaq has lost 6.5 percent since topping out 10 weeks ago. Many of the new technology stocks that had been high-flyers are now viewed as over-priced -- in some cases, way over-priced. The software company Splunk (SPLK) is good example. It has lost more than half of its value over the past year. It's taken a round trip from below $50 a share to nearly $100, and all the way back down again.
Splunk and other are known as momentum stocks. They can move up very quickly when investors are jumping on board, but they can decline just as quickly.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.