Investors survived a crisis of confidence on Wednesday, and the stock market bounced back from substantial early losses to finish the day with modest gains. Major market benchmarks gained about half a percent, and most of the rise came later in the day after the release of the most recent minutes from the Fed's Open Market Committee. The central bank affirmed that it will watch global macroeconomic conditions closely, especially in light of the Brexit vote, and investors took that as a sign that they didn't need to worry about imminent sharp interest rate increases. That was good enough to reassure the markets on the whole, but some stocks nevertheless posted losses. Chemours (NYSE:CC), Greenbrier (NYSE:GBX), and Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE:LYG) were among the worst performers in the market on Wednesday.
Chemours loses a big legal battle
Chemical giant Chemours plunged 22% after an adverse decision in a jury trial in Ohio. The lawsuit found former parent DuPont, which spun off, liable for $5.1 million in damages related to a chemical associated with the production of Teflon. The plaintiff in the case suffered from testicular cancer that he alleged resulted from the chemical's presence in drinking water in Ohio and West Virginia, and the jury also opened the door to potential punitive damage awards. Chemours has agreed to bear the costs of lawsuits on this issue, although some believe that the company might challenge DuPont's rights to indemnification. Regardless, DuPont shares also fell slightly, and investors could take another hit when a trial to determine the amount of punitive damages begins later this week.
Greenbrier gets derailed
Greenbrier fell 9% in the wake of its fiscal third-quarter earnings report. The railcar manufacturer suffered a 14% drop in revenue, which resulted in a 17% decline in net income for the company. Moreover, Greenbrier also reined in its guidance for the full 2016 fiscal year, narrowing its ranges for sales and earnings and pointing investors toward the lower half of its previous guidance. Greenbrier has fought against a tough market environment for railroads in the U.S., and it's also trying to diversify its exposure by adding more international business. Nevertheless, even a dividend increase wasn't enough to keep investors happy for long, and after a brief uptick following the report, shareholders concluded that tough times could continue for the cyclical company well into the future.
Lloyds Banking Group sees more Brexit pressure
Finally, Lloyds Banking Group dropped 7%. Investors are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of the U.K. exit from the European Union on the property market in London and surrounding areas, and analysts at JPMorgan argued that Lloyds was one of the banks that is most exposed to commercial property in the U.K. market. Although Lloyds has done a good job of keeping its loan quality high, managers of real estate funds focusing on the region have had to restrict withdrawals after investors looked to take their money out of the funds. If property prices fall, then the potential for impairment-related losses for Lloyds are higher than for many of its peers. Overall, the situation isn't nearly as dire as it was in the financial crisis in 2008, but the potential for systemic disruptions hasn't disappeared entirely.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends The Greenbrier Companies. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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