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The S&P 500 Index (INDEX: ^GSPC ) has had a remarkable run since the lows seen during the financial crisis. After closing below 700 in March 2009, the index has more than doubled in fewer than four years. In the broader context of things, today's measly 4.7 point (0.32%) drop ahead of the new earnings season appears insubstantial.
But leading the modest decline today were some not-so-modest individual losers. Among them was GameStop (NYSE: GME ) , which plummeted 6.3% lower on news that its holiday season was, in fact, not so jolly. Same-store sales are expected to decline markedly—as much as 9% -- in the 2012 holiday season.
J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) , which also earned a spot as one of yesterday's worst performers, outdid its sluggish Monday showing by dropping another 4.9%. To be fair, the troubled retailer is facing some tough competition, going up against such names as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) , Target (NYSE: TGT ) , and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) , which reached a 52-week high yesterday. With such staunch foes, it's no wonder investors are selling off.
Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK ) , which once showed a far more promising future, has been plagued by a series of poor decisions made by its CEO and founder, Aubrey McClendon. After a year in which the company was forced to sell valuable assets for liquidity purposes, McClendon will graciously forgo his 2012 bonus and limit his use of the corporate airplane. The stock fell 4.2% today.
While Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR ) hasn't been a notable laggard in the more recent past -- the stock is up 55% in the last year -- the broadband service provider's longer-term performance is a bit less impressive. Patient Clearwire shareholders have been rewarded by 60% losses in the past three years. But things may change for Clearwire: Late Tuesday, Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH ) offered to buy the company for $3.30 a share, trumping Sprint's (NYSE: S ) $2.97-per-share offer.