Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Lifted by a proposal from House Republicans to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, Wall Street went on a buying frenzy. While Thursday's gains may give the appearance that a firm deal has been reached, nothing's official yet, and the government shutdown is likely to continue in the near future. Still, the bleak light at the end of the tunnel provided by the temporary fix sent the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) soaring higher by 36 point, or 2.2%, gains, ending at 1,692.
Thursday's biggest losers weren't too hard to identify, mostly because only 12 out of 500 stocks ended in the red today. Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) was by far the most notable underperformer, as shares in the cloud-computing company plummeted 11.9%. Citrix gave preliminary guidance on its third-quarter results after the bell yesterday, sparking a flurry of analysts to lower their price targets on the stock. The difficulties of the quarter won't be known in depth until Oct. 23, but with sales likely to come in about $25 million below the $737 million estimate, investors were having a tough time justifying bullish positions.
Analysts, again, played heavily in the decline of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) stock, which lost 1.2% after an investor meeting of its own yesterday. Despite a cautiously optimistic outlook from CEO Meg Whitman, several research outfits maintained neutral ratings on the stock, citing competition and faults in the business model. HP rocketed nearly 9% yesterday on Whitman's comments, so today's pullback could also be due to short-term traders putting selling pressure on the stock.
Lastly, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) shed 0.8% as a preliminary announcement regarding the company's third-quarter output dinged shares. Newmont mines for both gold and copper and, with the price of gold falling today, and Newmont announcing drastically reduced copper output projections for the year, there wasn't much to be excited about. Shareholders are hoping they'll be due for a treat when official stats for the quarter come out on Halloween, but today's numbers make that prospect more unlikely.
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