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

What: Shares of for-profit educators are getting slaughtered in early trading, after industry bellwether Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) pulled its 2011 outlook on regulatory concerns, and forecast sharp drops in new student enrollments.

So what: Apollo's 25% plunge leads the sector bloodbath, with ITT Educational (NYSE: ESI), Education Management (Nasdaq: EDMC), DeVry (NYSE: DV), and Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO) all sporting near-20% declines. Grand Canyon (Nasdaq: LOPE) and Strayer (Nasdaq: STRA) are also down by double-digit percentages.

Now what: Naturally, today's news casts even more doubts about the industry's future. It's no secret that for-profit educators have been facing intense scrutiny about just how effectively they prep students for the job market, but Apollo's announcement shows just how real those regulatory risks are becoming. With the Department of Education pushing for rules that could restrict their program offerings, as well as access to financial aid, for-profit school stocks are about the last turnaround bets I'd consider making.

Interested in more info on Apollo? Add it to your watchlist here by clicking here.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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