Intel (INTC) and Snap (SNAP)

Last week I wrote about Diversified Energy, a US-based, UK-listed natural gas company. What caught my eye was that the company’s stock plummeted on a Bloomberg article that explained what the company does for a living–and even though my reading of its financials is that it has had no problem getting external financing to support it for years. My (then) question: how could anyone not have known?

Last night INTC and SNAP reported. INTC said that it’s latest attempt to shore up its sagging fortunes would take some time and cost a lot. SNAP said that Apple’s decision to allow iPhone users to block online tracking–Verizon announced in May that 96% of its US iPhone customers are using this feature–has hurt its business.

Both stocks were down sharply in aftermarket trading after these announcements. Again, the question–what holder could possibly not have known beforehand?

I still don’t know …and I may never know. But I’ve realized that’s the wrong thing to be noticing. What’s more important, I think, and a signal of a sea change in stock market behavior, is that investors are starting to have sharp negative reactions to bad company news. Yes, the moves are reactive and not the anticipatory moves common in past market behavior. To my mind, though, the key factor is that for the first time in 18 months, individual company results are carrying more weight than general concepts.

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