DEFINITION of 'Hiccup'

A slang term for a short-term disruption within a longer-term plan, goal, or trend. A hiccup can be used to describe the business actions of a particular company, a stock price downturn, or the stock market as a whole. Generally, a hiccup is not indicative of a larger trend, but is considered an aberration.


One of the biggest challenges for investors is determining what is merely a hiccup, and what is a harbinger of things to come. If a company misses sales estimates one quarter, this may be an isolated event, or it may be the first of several misses highlighting a core problem in the business model.

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