This Is the Reason the S&P 500 Tanked Late in the Day

It appeared early in the day that a much-prolonged debt deal between the International Monetary Fund and Greece was going to pave the way for a positive day. The IMF agreed, after three weeks of back-and-forth bantering, to reduce Greece's debt load to pave the way for financial aid to reach the troubled country.

That story was quickly forgotten, however, following comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who noted that little progress has been made between Democrats and Republicans regarding the fiscal cliff. With only 34 days looming until higher taxes threaten to strike all of our pocketbooks, the broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) dipped 7.35 points (-0.52%) to end at 1,398.94.

There wasn't a consistent trend in terms of which companies dropped today, but there was definitely a lot of red across the board.

Seagate Technologies (Nasdaq: STX  ) led the move lower by 5.1%, followed closely by Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG  ) with a 3.4% downdraft. Seagate's dip is most directly tied to recent weakness among chipmakers, which could signify that medium and large enterprise customers are holding off on making large purchases, including hard disk drives, until economic conditions improve. Chipotle is suffering alongside McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) , which received a downgrade this morning as competition among casual-dining restaurants and food inflation stomps what were once robust gross margins for both companies.

If you're looking for a few bright notes in today's S&P drop, look no further than Monster Beverage (Nasdaq: MNST  ) and Corning (NYSE: GLW  ) , which popped 13.3% and 6.9%, respectively.

Monster Beverage jumped after receiving a letter from the Food and Drug Administration that any action against the company is unlikely, given the FDA's review that Monster's two main ingredients, taurine and gaurana, are far less dangerous than originally feared. Following a painful couple of weeks where the company was sued over the death of a 14-year-old girl, this is definitely a bit of vindication for Monster shareholders.

Corning, on the other hand, boosted its fourth-quarter outlook on better-than-expected Gorilla Glass sales from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Samsung. Overall, Corning anticipates that Gorilla Glass sales will be up 60% this quarter and expects its life sciences segment to also see at least a 15% sequential increase in sales. One of my favorite aspects of Corning is its business diversity and today we're seeing the fruits of Corning's hard work and innovation.

Strength in diversity
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