The market tried a couple of times to get things rolling in a bullish direction, but too many of the would-be bulls were busy watching Monday’s eclipse. By the time the closing bell rang, the S&P 500 Index only mustered a gain of 0.12% to end the session at 2,428.37.
Here’s what traders need to know about each dip.
Tesla Inc (TSLA)
Good luck finding a specific reason Tesla shares lost 2.8% of their value today; you probably won’t find one. Rather, TSLA tanked on Monday for a myriad of collective reasons.
One of those reasons may reflect the fact that the recently-issued junk bonds are already trading below their face value. Although bonds can and do fall to reflect broad rises in market interest rates, to see this below-investment-grade debt already trading at 97% of their initial value could be interpreted as a sign that Tesla is running into a fiscal headwind.
There’s also the possibility that Business Insider’s Matthew DeBord made a point that resonated with the market. His point? That TSLA stock is impossible to value here. While most investors innately know it, seeing that reality in print gives them pause.
More than anything though, traders are increasingly worried the broad market is going to dish out a correction. That makes high-flyers like TSLA particularly prone to profit-taking.
Ulta Beauty Inc (ULTA)
Beauty retailer and salon operator Ulta Beauty had already fallen 22% since its early June peak, but Stifel doesn’t think it has hit bottom yet. The research outfit lowered its target on ULTA to $270 today, from a previous target of $325 per share. That’s still well above today’s closing price, but new pessimism is new pessimism no matter how you slice it.
The concern? A general slowdown for the whole industry, but more than anything, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan explained:
“We believe near-term trading could result in more downside than upside given broader multiple contraction in retail due to slowing category growth and fears of increased competition from Amazon.”
ULTA closed at $234.83 on Monday, down 4.1%.
Foot Locker, Inc. (FL)
Finally, for the second trading day in a row, Foot Locker earned a spot on the daily worst-three list. Although rival Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) technically lost more with its 10.1% setback, in terms of total market cap lost, FL did the most damage with its 7.4% plunge.
The cause is the same in both cases. That is, the athletic apparel market’s growth is slowing down at the same time the aforementioned Amazon continues to chip away at the former top-dogs in the business.
Either way, it’s Foot Locker that took the lead on the selloff, falling 28% on Friday when its Q2 income of 62 cents per share missed estimates of 90 cents by a country mile. Fanning the bearish flames on Monday was a downgrade of Foot Locker by Baird, which now rates FL at “Neutral” rather than “Outperform.”
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.