It's been a tough week for equities. Markets stumbled for a third straight day on Wednesday, as investors await with caution and anxiety next week's Federal Open Market Committee hearing. The central bank will address the next steps in quantitative easing efforts at that point, and some of the looming uncertainty should be cleared up. But until that point, stocks may continue to be nervous wrecks, like today's three laggards. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) lost 13 points, or 0.8%, to close at 1,612.
First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) has done a superb job at underperformance the past few days. Not only was it yesterday's worst performer, losing more than 7%, but investors also thought Tuesday's stumble wasn't brutal enough and further sold off shares to the tune of 10.8% today. Wall Street had good reason to be bearish: The solar-energy company plans to raise additional capital by diluting current shareholders with an 8.5 million-share secondary offering.
Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) slumped 7.4% after Citigroup downgraded the stock from a buy to a hold. Even more compelling was the rationale behind the downgrade, as the analyst worried about the company's MS treatment in Europe. The Citigroup report suggested that prescriptions may have been overstated by as much as 30%, and that the European Medicines Agency may not end up providing the competitive protection for the drug shareholders had hoped for.
Lastly, shares of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) fell 4.7% Wednesday, its third straight day of major losses. EA said at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that it's still working on developing its policy on used games for the new Xbox One console. That's a luxury Microsoft gave game developers, which means EA could choose to make the resale of its gaming titles much more expensive -- and therefore undesirable -- for the second or third owner. However, if you're a fan of used games, you'll like the game developer's tone today, as a company official said it looks at used games "from a user standpoint and a gamer standpoint."
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