The stock market reversed a two-day slide on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's June policy meeting were released, reassuring investors that interest rates will remain low for some time. Following a stellar jobs report last week, Wall Street was fearful that the U.S. central bank might start raising rates sooner than previously expected. Although markets were generally bullish today, shares of Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT), and Coach (NYSE:COH) finished deeply in the red on Wednesday, even as the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) added 9 points, or 0.5%, to end at 1,972.
Garmin was by and large the S&P's worst performer today, shedding 4.6% after an analyst badmouthed the stock. Pacific Crest downgraded the stock to underperform from sector perform, citing stiff competition from the likes of GoPro and Apple products as the primary catalysts. From a consumer standpoint, Garmin's vulnerability here is old news, as sexier, sleeker, smaller products from stronger brands continue to win over the hearts of consumers. That said, Garmin's consumer-facing business isn't its focus, and its tools are still widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Kraft Foods, of course, has no industrial presence to speak of -- its strengths lie solely and squarely within the consumer market. Shares lost 1.6% on Wednesday, in what was mostly attributable to the stock going "ex-dividend" today. Kraft Foods doles out its hefty 3.5% annual dividend in quarterly payments, which are given to every shareholder who holds the stock at the end of a given date. The day after that is considered the "ex-dividend" date, which exposes the stock to negative pressure as short-term investors sell shares but still ensure their next quarterly dividend payment.
Lastly, shares of the struggling luxury fashion retailer Coach fell 1.4% on Wednesday. Wall Street seemingly loathes this stock more and more by the day, and today's downgrade from Buckingham Research was no exception. Just as rival Michael Kors is heating up, Coach's business is stagnating, and the company said last month that it would be closing about 70 stores in North America alone as it attempts to become a leaner, more profitable outfit. That'll be tough to do with same-store sales plunging by double-digit percentages and Coach's brand strength in a time of crisis. Until Coach starts turning things around, it's difficult to justify a reason to believe in this company in either the long or short term.
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