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After setting an all-time closing high on Monday, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) has lost ground in the last two trading sessions, as corporate earnings fail to make a compelling bullish case and Wall Street moves timidly with monetary policy still largely up in the air. That said, the two-day pullback in the stock market has by no means been severe; the S&P fell just 6 points, or 0.4%, Wednesday to close at 1,685. The same cannot be said for the following three S&P components: Their losses today were quite severe indeed.
We all know that when an analyst turns bearish on a stock, things can get ugly, at least immediately after the news hits the wires. Fewer people can recall how a stock reacts when seven analysts lower their expectations in the same day, which is exactly what happened with Broadcom (UNKNOWN: BRCM.DL ) today. As you can imagine, buyers didn't exactly start piling in, and shares cratered 15.1%. The chipmaker's results yesterday, universally loathed on Wall Street, as revenue in Broadcom's mobile and wireless business -- a fairly important area of focus -- actually fell from the year before.
Communications hardware company Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI ) took a 6.6% haircut after reporting a disappointing quarter of its own. The Achilles' heel of Motorola Solutions is its dependence on revenue from the government for growth. Such confidence in the federal government -- a government that is expected to begin a biennial debate over whether it should pay its own bills next month -- may not be the best business model. Especially with disapproval ratings of Congress sitting at 83%, the highest level The Wall Street Journal has ever recorded. On the enterprise side of its business, Motorola Solutions has also been slow to release new products. Double whammy.
Lastly, shares of Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM ) were down 4.9% ahead of tomorrow's earnings report. The gold and copper miner isn't expected to post a blowout quarter, considering the fact that gold prices plummeted early in the period. Newmont is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in the precious metal, and has already reduced its outlook for the quarter and the next two fiscal years between 40% and 45%. Having already cut jobs to reduce costs, some investors fear that the 5% annual dividend may be the next on the chopping block.
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