Career Education Shares Dropped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of for-profit educator Career Education (NAS: CECO) swooned in early trading, falling as much as 10% after the stock was downgraded by a Wall Street analyst.

So what: Investors often look to Wall Street analysts for their views because they closely follow the companies they cover. So it's little surprise that investors would react harshly after an analyst at Argus Research cut Career Education's shares from buy to hold.

Now what: As I like to remind investors, no matter how closely analysts may follow a company, their rating on the stock is still just one person's view. To be sure, the analyst's take could be a good reason for shareholders to revisit their assumptions for the stock, but it's more likely foolish than Foolish to sell simply because an analyst has modified a rating.

Of course, it's also notable to point out that most of the losses on Career Education didn't hold. Fellow for-profit educator Apollo Group (NAS: APOL) saw its shares jump today after the company announced better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings. The report lifted the entire sector, and other educators, including DeVry (NYS: DV) and Strayer (NAS: STRA) , were climbing on hopes that what's good for Apollo will be good for all.

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At the time this article was published Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.Fool contributorMatt Koppenhefferhas nofinancial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting hisCAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter,@KoppTheFool, or onFacebook. The Fool'sdisclosure policyprefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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