SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Shares of several firms in the cyber-security space slipped on Wednesday morning after a Citigroup analyst expressed skepticism that an executive order from President Obama will have much impact on the sector. In a note to clients, Citi software analyst Walter Pritchard said there have been many such efforts in the past "to drive increased focus on cyber security" through initatives by the federal government. "While well intentioned, they have generally had little impact on spending on IT security products and we believe this will be the case again here," he wrote, adding that "isolated industry regulations" like the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act generally have a greater impact on actual spending. Three of the stocks listed by Pritchard as having exposure to government spending on cyber-security -- Sourcefire FIRE, Fortinet FTNT and Palo Alto Networks PANW -- were down 2% or more in morning trades on Wednesday. CheckPoint CHKP was off by 1%, and Symantec SYMC was down 0.8%.
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