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Going into the weekend, investors were willing to dismiss the failure of Cypriot lawmakers to come to a final conclusion about its bailout plans, bidding stocks higher. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) finished near the highs of the day, rising 11 points, to 1,557, just eight points below its all-time record high.
Among the 500 stocks in the large-cap index, the technology sector was well-represented. Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD ) was the biggest loser of the day, declining by almost 4%, and following up on yesterday's similar 4% decline. Having perennially lagged behind Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) in the PC microprocessor industry, AMD had its chance to outshine its rival by moving more quickly to capture opportunities in the mobile-device arena. Yet it hasn't done any better of a job getting into mobile than Intel has and, as new competition strengthens, AMD risks fading into insignificance.
Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST ) fell 3.7%. Late yesterday, a study presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association suggested a possible connection between energy drinks to higher blood pressure and potential heart-rhythm problems. With some already having blamed energy drinks for deaths and illnesses, the study could threaten the long-term viability of Monster Beverage's business model if its conclusions prove to be true.
Finally, F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV ) rounded out the three worst stocks list, dropping about 2.25%. Oracle's earnings miss earlier this week threw the entire networking sector into turmoil, as it called into question the general strategy of trying to go beyond niche specialties to provide broad one-stop solutions for IT customers. An analyst's downgrade yesterday of router and networking rivals Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks didn't help F5 either, as conditions across the industry appear to be in danger of worsening in the near future.
The stakes are high for Monster Beverage these days. The stock had been nothing short of a rocket, but health scares sparked a number of investigations at the state and federal level into the energy drink’s role in several fatalities. With the company’s value slashed in half, investors are wondering whether Monster Beverage is a value or a bust in the fast-growing energy drink category. Find out now in our brand-new premium research report, which details all the ins and outs you need to know about Monster Beverage. Click here now to claim your copy, and start reading today.