Why Ctrip.com International, Ltd., Arch Coal Inc., and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc Tumbled Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The stock market largely continued its post-new year's hangover Friday, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both fell, even though the Dow Jones Industrials managed to push higher. Helping to weigh on sentiment today were shares of Ctrip.com International (NASDAQ: CTRP  ) , Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI  ) , and Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT: INO  ) , all of which suffered more substantial declines.

Ctrip dropped 8% as a Bloomberg report detailed the heightened competition that the online travel company could see in the near future. With companies like newly public Qunar Cayman Islands saying that it saw record levels for bookings of air travel in late 2013, Ctrip is suddenly facing threats not just on the hotel side of its business, but also on airline ticketing. Yet, Ctrip still has its size advantage to use, and U.S. giant Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN  ) has demonstrated the value of using its size to create other competitive advantages it has used to send its shares soaring.

Arch Coal fell 5%, as most of its peers in the coal sector suffered a bad day of losses. The problem that Arch and its competitors all face is that coal demand has been weak for years, especially in the U.S. with its relative glut of low-cost natural gas. As utilities and other high-volume coal users have shifted to natural gas, it has taken away a big source of revenue for Arch and other coal producers. Arch Coal has done its best to boost its exports to reach areas of the world where coal is in higher demand, such as India and China. But if U.S. buyers never come back into the coal market, Arch Coal could see further declines, despite its already substantial losses last year.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals plummeted 13%, but in the context of last year's huge gains for the biotech's stock, the decline marked only a modest correction. In 2013, Inovio's shares almost quadrupled, as the developer of cancer immunotherapy treatments teamed up with major partner Roche to boost its odds of getting its pipeline prospects to market. Yet, with Inovio's pipeline filled with early-stage candidates, the company still has to prove itself with successful results. Until it does, the stock will be vulnerable to potentially wild swings both up and down that match the mood of investors on any given day.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2014, at 8:59 PM, preskeelpundit wrote:

    Really, Arch Coal went down 5% today because coal demand is low and utilities have been switching to natural gas? Then why did it go UP 5% yesterday?

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2014, at 9:35 PM, blazinw418 wrote:

    INO: potentially wild swings both up and down that match the mood of investors on any given day"

    Or

    Master manipulator Adam Feuerstein.

    It's no coincidence that each of the last 2 times this stock has hit a 52 week high that there is a AF piece and a serious reduction in stock price.

    The Street is corrupt!

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 10:31 AM, foolgabby wrote:

    blazen ~

    Parasites do nothing to support its host and the system that creates all the many ways to bleed the system promotes such behavior .Shorting a stock, calls, puts, etc. creates such an environment. We need to get back to investing in companies that we believe in.

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 10:55 AM, gkirkmf wrote:

    While Morgan Housel preaches long term, other Fools are doing the opposite.... I have had ACI for quite a while now, and while I am down 27% at the moment, I have absolutely no intention of getting out. ACI has good management and solid assets. As anyone who follows the energy sector closely knows, the natural gas "glut" will disappear as the extremely rapid depletion of shale gas wells begins to weigh on the market, not to mention the build out of LNG terminals taking place now to export the "glut". Natural gas can not replace metallurgical coal, and as the economy picks up, the demand for it will also pick up. ACI is well situated when that occurs. I give the odds of US coal buyers never coming back about 10 to 1. Anyone who thinks otherwise is welcome to short the stock and cash in on their predictions. I will be happy to loan you the stock... (for a small interest charge that is).

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2014, at 3:27 PM, marp11 wrote:

    stop looking like bio techs??

    ARNA easy 4-10 bagger in 2014

    eom

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