Why Arcus Biosciences, Eldorado Gold, and Esperion Therapeutics Slumped Today

Wall Street had a big celebration on Friday, and stocks soared in the wake of news that the U.S. economy appears to remain strong. Positive data from the monthly jobs report sent major indexes up 3% to 4%, regaining all of their losses from Thursday's down session. Yet some stocks missed out on the market's overall gains, and Arcus Biosciences (NYSE: RCUS), Eldorado Gold (NYSE: EGO), and Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ESPR) were among the worst performers. Here's why they did so poorly.

Arcus sees an executive departure

Shares of Arcus Therapeutics were down 14% after the biopharmaceutical company announced changes in its executive team. The company said that Jennifer Jarrett, who has held the dual role of chief financial and operating officer, would step down effective Jan. 11. Jarrett will remain on the Arcus board, but she intends to work with a privately held transportation and technology company. As often happens with unexpected executive moves, shareholders seem to be drawing negative conclusions from Jarrett’s departure, but the executive was quick to express her confidence in Arcus' prospects in the high-growth cancer immunotherapy sector.

Eldorado looks a little less golden

Eldorado Gold's stock dropped nearly 6% on a poor day for the gold market. Even with most other financial markets seeing big gains, gold prices fell $9 to $1,285 per ounce, and more importantly, the strength of the U.S. economy removed some of the incentive for investors to hold what's perceived as a safe-haven asset. For Eldorado, volatility in gold prices has contributed to big swings in both directions recently, but shareholders today clearly think that a strong economy is bad for gold mining companies like Eldorado.

Esperion makes a deal

Finally, shares of Esperion Therapeutics finished lower by 6%. The company had initially seen a big jump after announcing an agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Europe to market its bempedoic acid treatment in Europe. Under the deal, Esperion will receive $300 million up front as well as the potential for up to $900 million more in milestone payments. Yet after the initial gain, investors seemed to sour on the deal, perhaps thinking that Esperion would have done better to go it alone in hopes of reaping the full benefit of a hoped-for FDA approval in the near future.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.