You can't have Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) cite European woes and Chipotle (CMG) cite economic weakness -- two companies thought to be resistant to the economic headwinds -- and not expect the market to get crushed.
What's amazing is that all of this is happening at once. You can't have two growth stock darlings give up the ghost and think that any growth stock can hold up. They are a cohort, and suddenly you are paying 33x 2013 earnings for 8% same-store sales growth. And you can't worry that Europe's cutting back on health care without worrying about Whole Foods (WFM) or Starbucks (SBUX) or even Darden (DRI or McDonald's (MCD).
Chipotle's performance is particularly difficult to fathom because its hallmark had been its counter-cyclical nature. People will pay up for healthier eating. That had been the prevalent view. Until today.
Maybe Panera Bread (PNRA) can change things when it reports next week. But this is a tough moment for Chipotle. If Panera doesn't have a slowdown like Chipotle's, people are going to start believing that something has gone wrong at CMG. As if the decline today doesn't already indicate that.
It is tempting to believe that CMG might be under promising and over delivering (UPOD). The problem with extrapolating UPOD, though, is that the CMG guys indicated that this new quarter is already is tracking similarly.
At times like this, I like to regroup and lick wounds as I have obviously been a CMG supporter since the stock was trading around $50. I thought the decline in gasoline would cut in its favor, even as the raw costs of beef are going to go higher courtesy of the drought.
Of course, the selling in these names seems overdone. But the pattern of disappointment is pointing to multiple down days before we see any stability.
That seems to be our fate right now. Better to refocus on the dividend plays and circle back to the names that have done well. Because dwelling on which names have done badly has not been a particularly rewarding strategy for this particular earnings period.