The stock market generally moved higher on Monday, with modest gains that sent major-market benchmarks to record levels once again. Yet underneath the surface, many subsectors of the market reflected ongoing nervousness about how much higher stocks can go without an overall market correction. Moreover, for several stocks, negative stories with company-specific impacts hurt share prices, with Bebe Stores (NASDAQ: BEBE ) , Arctic Cat (NASDAQ: ACAT ) , and Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI ) among the worst performers today.
Bebe Stores fell 17%, as most analysts focused on announcements of share sales among key corporate insiders for the retailer. But the more likely cause for the drop came from elsewhere in the industry, as one set of Wall Street analysts reduced their price targets on some competing retailers emphasizing the same teen niche that represents a substantial part of Bebe's business. Throughout the teen retail market, it's been hard for any players to generate the profits that were so prevalent in past years. Given those adverse conditions right now, it's hard to find winners in the segment, and Bebe Stores' warnings last month about its current-quarter losses had already sent investor sentiment in the stock plunging.
Arctic Cat dropped 9% after the maker of snowmobiles and other off-road equipment announced that CEO Claude Jordan had left the company. Arctic Cat quickly named former CEO Chris Twomey to the role in an interim capacity, but the move led to at least one downgrade from analyst firms following the stock. Even though Arctic Cat left its guidance for the coming fiscal year unchanged, those projections are already far below what investors had hoped to see as recently as just a month ago. After a winter that should have boosted Arctic Cat's prospects, the need for a leadership change signals that the turnaround could be harder than expected.
Puma Biotechnology plunged 25% after shareholders were disappointed with data that the biotech company released over the weekend on its neratinib treatment for metastatic breast cancer. With substantial side effects from the treatment and only mediocre efficacy results, neratinib will need to do better in the other trials that are under way. Moreover, with rival drugmakers also having trouble coming up with viable treatments for metastatic breast cancer, some worry that Puma's course of action could prove unfruitful in the long run, especially if the FDA balks at the idea of approving a treatment with strong side effects with safety implications for the drug itself.
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