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.
Dow 16,000, S&P 1,800, and Nasdaq 4,000 didn't become reality today, but each of these benchmarks came close to reaching those respective levels as investors continued to respond favorably to the macroeconomic and monetary-policy environment going forward. But despite the market's broad gains, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), Maximus (NYSE:MMS), and Western Union (NYSE:WU) gave up ground today with fairly substantial drops. Let's take a closer look at why these stocks bucked the market's favorable trend today.
Electronic Arts declined 7% in a surprising move, given that the maker of console-based video games should arguably be celebrating the release of the PlayStation 4 today. Yet even with the new console available and the Xbox One following next week, investors ignored analysts at Piper Jaffray and sent the stock stumbling. With NPD Group reporting that industrywide video game software sales rose 4.7% in October even in advance of the new consoles, long-term trends seem favorable even though several of its games didn't rank as highly on top-sellers' lists last month as in previous months.
Maximus posted a 5% drop despite reporting quarterly profit that rose by more than half from the year-ago quarter. The company benefited from its role in helping six health-insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, including those in New York and the District of Columbia. But Maximus gave dour forward guidance, projecting a revenue range below current expectations and earnings that could be as much as a dime per share lower than what investors expect to see.
Western Union fell 4% after news surfaced that the Central Intelligence Agency is collecting data on money transfers as part of its larger attempts to gather foreign intelligence. Although Western Union already complies with various rules designed to protect against money laundering and financing potential terrorist activity, the report about the CIA could well deter some of its customers from using the service to send money abroad, as well as raising compliance costs generally.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Western Union. 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.