Another lazy day for stocks. The major indices edged higher and lower on Wednesday, but when all was said and done, the market couldn’t break out of what has become a nagging rut. The S&P 500’s close of 2,275.32 was 0.28% better than Tuesday’s close, falling short of the recently established record-high mark of 2,282.10.
It could have been worse, though. You could have owned Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR), Supervalu Inc. (NYSE:SVU) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY). Here’s why these three names were among the most difficult names to own on Wednesday.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY)
Drug company Bristol-Myers Squibb got a double dose of setbacks on Wednesday, sending BMY to a loss of 5.3% for the day.
The bulk of the pullback stemmed from news that cancer drug Keytruda, made by Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), will get a favored review time by the Food and Drug Administration as a potential treatment (in tandem with chemotherapy) for lung cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squibb was hoping its Opdivo would step up and fill the role as a next-generation lung cancer therapy. Although Opdivo didn’t show much benefit to that end when an update of that research was released in October, BMY shareholders were hoping something of that study could be salvaged.
Now, with an alternative slated for a potential approval as early as May 10, Bristol-Myers’ answer looks like a lost cause.
Fanning the bearish flames that burned BMY on Wednesday were comments made by President-elect Donald Trump. During a press conference, Trump said of the government’s role in pharmaceutical pricing, “We’re going to start bidding and were going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.” Investors presumed that ultimately means a headwind continues to brew for Bristol-Myers Squibb and its peers.
Supervalu Inc. (SVU)
Although groceries are a recession-proof product, that doesn’t mean grocers are incapable of booking a loss. Just ask shareholders of Supervalu, who were shocked to learn the company did exactly that last quarter.
This morning, SVU reported it lost $26 million for its third fiscal quarter of the year, translating into a loss of 10 cents per share. Granted, that was only a GAAP loss. On an operating basis, Supervalu earned five cents per share on revenue of $3 billion. That still fell short of the profit of 13 cents per share of SVU analysts were looking for, however.
“In our retail segment we have not been able to overcome persistent deflation, competitive impacts, and other factors. It takes time to change customers’ shopping habits, but our team is dedicated to improving our results.”
SVU lost 7.5% of its value today.
Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR)
Last but not least, though the blow was dealt on Monday, the pain wasn’t felt by Juniper Networks shareholders until today, in the form of the stock’s 1.9% tumble.
The prod for the pullback was primarily a downgrade of JNPR by Bernstein, which now rates the stock at “Market Perform.” The research outfit still feels Juniper has compelling growth prospects, but Juniper Networks shares’ 30% advance from last February’s lows makes owning the stock at this price a merely mediocre prospect.
That said, this take from TheStreet.com’s Vicky Huang added to any selling effort that was only on the verge of pressing JNPR shares downward on Wednesday.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.