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Shares of several big health insurers fell Monday as jittery investors dumped equities en masse because of new fears about the economic stability of Europe.

Big U.S. managed care companies tend to invest almost entirely at home, particularly in conservatively in treasuries and high-grade corporate bonds, so their direct exposure to European financial problems is limited. Industry watchers believe insurer stocks are losing ground because people are trading equities for more conservative fixed-income investments, not because of any direct concern about the effects of the European debt crisis on U.S. health care.

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