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If you somehow glossed over the title of this article, then skipped this paragraph and simply read about the following three stocks without any context, you might think that today was an absolutely miserable day in the markets. It wasn't, of course: The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) actually picked up momentum in the afternoon and closed 10 points, or 0.6%, higher, at 1,640. Since you're reading the first paragraph, you deserve to know that Wall Street's jubilance was due to a feeling that the Fed won't dare to taper quantitative easing efforts by its next meeting later this month.
Nowhere were shareholders in F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV ) jubilant today, as they witnessed shares slump 4.9%. After the price target for the stock was lowered at least 10 different times by various investment banks in April, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares today, too, ensuring the networking devices company an awful start to the month of June.
On a similarly unimpressive note, Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB ) logged its fourth straight day of losses, falling 4.3% by day's end. No ominous analyst downgrades sullied the stock -- in fact it was glowingly positive reviews from analysts about another pharmaceutical company that may have put pressure on shares. Receptos, which is testing a treatment for multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease, shot up more than 15% after two separate analysts touted the potential for the MS drug. Biogen, for its part, happens to already make a MS drug that's been very successful thus far.
Lastly, online sales management platform Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM ) dropped 3.1% Monday. While there was little breaking news today that would seem to justify such a sudden drop, the decline looks less crazy when you consider the fact that the market thinks the company -- which didn't even turn a profit in the last fiscal year -- is worth nearly $25 billion. Maybe the valuation is a little ambitious right now for Salesforce, a company that can't translate $3 billion in revenue to a single penny of profit on the bottom line.
Biogen and Receptos illustrate how quickly stocks in the health-care sector can move. And you can certainly make huge gains in biotech and pharmaceuticals, but the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.