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Why Did Qualcomm (QCOM) Stock Drop Today?

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Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM - Free Report) were down more than 4% through early afternoon trading hours Tuesday after the chipmaker lost its legal bid to postpone changes to its cellular patent licensing process in South Korea.

The semiconductor manufacturing giant confirmed on Monday night that the Seoul High Court had denied its application to put a stay on a remedial order by the Korea Fair Trade Commission over the way it licenses cellular patents.

Qualcomm was seeking to delay the Fair Trade Commission’s order while the company appeals the regulator body’s findings in court. Nevertheless, South Korea denied the request and ruled that Qualcomm’s business would not suffer irreparable harm if the order took effect during the appeals process.

Qualcomm shares dropped about 4% to $50.08 by early afternoon. However, at least one analyst argued that the ruling wouldn’t really have a major effect on the company’s results.

“While this is interesting, we do not believe it affects QCOM treatment in other countries,” said JPMorgan’s Rod Hall in a note. “We also point out that the smartphone volumes in Korea are tiny relative to global volume and have little impact on Qualcomm’s licensing revenue stream.”

Indeed, Qualcomm’s slump appears to be coming on a weak day throughout the semiconductor industry. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor Sector ETF (SOXX - Free Report) was down more than 1.5%, while major chipmakers like AMD (AMD - Free Report) and Nvidia (NVDA - Free Report) were down more than 3%.

Other industry giants, including Micron Technology (MU), Applied Materials (AMAT - Free Report) , Analog Devices (ADI - Free Report) , and Texas Instruments (TXN - Free Report) , also fell on Tuesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was down over 1.3% through Tuesday afternoon trading.

Tech’s rough day was mirrored by nearly all major sectors, as several major international stories, as well as the onset of the market’s historic worst month, helped drag stocks down on Tuesday (also read: Stocks Dip To Start September, The Market's Traditional Worst Month).

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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