New data sent the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) lower today, as the index suffered its first monthly decline since last October. Business activity showed signs of deceleration, and consumer sentiment also fell in June, though it still remains near six-month highs. When all was said and done, the benchmark index ended Friday at 1,606, down nearly 7 points, or 0.4%. Today's three laggards sure didn't help much either, as they went into the weekend with their tails between their legs.
IT giant Accenture (NYSE: ACN ) fell the most in the 500-stock index, slumping 10.3% after posting massively disappointing quarterly sales. Accenture seems to be suffering from a strange phenomenon: namely, the company's services are extremely reliable. That means that customers are booking longer-term deals as opposed to short-term contracts, which results in revenue taking more time to show up materially on the books. There are worse problems to have, but still, Wall Street wasn't impressed.
Pharma company AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV ) was the day's second-biggest decliner, with shares falling 4.2%. AbbVie specializes in producing drugs that treat autoimmune disorders, and today, the European Medicines Agency approved two knockoff medications that treat autoimmune diseases, effectively increasing the competition AbbVie faces in Europe.
Lastly, shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN ) shed 4.1% Friday. Shares in the biopharmaceutical company have more than doubled in the last year, and have been an absolute dream for longer-term shareholders, having been a 10-bagger in the past three years, and trading at more than 15 times their value five years ago. Right now, Wall Street is wondering whether Regeneron's still a bargain at 37 times forward earnings, and today's ruling was decisively negative on a day the health-care sector ended was the second-worst performing area of the markets.
While looking at past performance is useful, 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.