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.
Seven out of every 10 stocks fell Wednesday, as Wall Street expressed its disapproval with the Federal Reserve's policy meeting today. Specifically, Wall Street was disappointed that the Fed did exactly what most analysts expected, and no more. Pledging to continue its $85 billion monthly pace steady for the time being, the central bank failed to commit to anything long-term. That makes some sense, though, since Chairman Ben Bernanke will be vacating his position in early 2014, making way for Janet Yellen. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) broke its four-day win streak, losing 8 points, or 0.5% Wednesday, to end at 1,763.
The good news for today's biggest individual losers in the index: You had plenty of company. Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) ended as a notable decliner in the S&P, shedding 5.7% Wednesday. Summer Street Research downgraded shares from a "buy" to a "neutral" rating today, after Vertex announced that it will cut 15% of its workforce after posting rough third-quarter results. Sales in the company's marquee hepatitis-C treatment, Incivek, put more pressure on its cystic fibrosis treatment, Kalydeco, to perform well. Thankfully, Kalydeco isn't folding under pressure, and Vertex boosted its year-end forecast for Kalydeco sales yesterday.
Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) slumped 3.2% Wednesday, as the stock continues to fall after its quarterly report last Friday. Cabot actually beat earnings estimates, falling short of sales expectations. To be clear, Cabot has posted exceptional growth in the past year, which saw operating revenue jump nearly 47%. The trouble was, shareholders were expecting this sort of blowout growth, so when revenue grew by 47% instead of something closer to 50%, you had some peeved perfectionists dumping the stock. Research outfit RW Baird chirpily bid adieu to the perfectionists, noting that the brief pullback could be an opportune time to pick up shares at a discount.
Lastly, chemicals powerhouse Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) saw its shares fall 3.1% Wednesday, as its bid to pick up its Mexican equivalent was denied -- yet again -- by the Federal Competition Commission of Mexico. Consorcio Comex is dominant in its home country and would have been a valuable asset to help Sherwin-Williams diversify and expand internationally. The Mexican commission is probably getting tired of telling the company no. It's the same in both languages, right?
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