Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Reaching a five year high today, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) surged ahead on news that Chinese exports rose 14.1% in December, a far cry from the 5% growth economists were predicting. This, coupled with encouraging comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that signaled confidence in a 2013 eurozone recovery, were enough to give most stocks in the market a boost. But, while the benchmark index advanced 11.1 points, or 0.76%, the following three stocks struggled.

Although Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) , remains an important player in the domestic oil and natural gas boom, it had to sell off billions in valuable assets due to the financial troubles the company got into in 2012. The 2.1% loss today means that Chesapeake's market value sits 28% lower than it did just a year ago. Chesapeake investors are likely thankful that CEO Aubrey McClendon's privileges with the company jet were scaled back a few days ago.

Energy drink behemoth Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST  ) fell by an even steeper margin on Thursday, declining 3.1%. Monster shareholders have started to worry that the uber-competitive marketplace is getting crowded at the expense of the company's long-term market share. And, when a company as successful, well-known, and sprawling as Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) decides to go head-to-head against you, who can blame them for those concerns?

Global industrial supplies producer Fastenal (NASDAQ: FAST  ) closes out today's notable laggards, after an uninspired day of trading that saw shares fall 2.2%. The company, which reports quarterly earnings next Thursday, was likely affected by the poor performance of a market peer, MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE: MSM  ) . Failing to meet analyst expectations, MSC also issued weak guidance today, as the company's CEO characterized the last quarter's demand environment as "eroding." 

Energy investors would be hard-pressed to find another company trading at a deeper discount than Chesapeake Energy. Its share price depreciated after negative news surfaced concerning the company's management and spiraling debt picture. While these issues still persist, giant steps have been taken to help mitigate the problems. To learn more about Chesapeake and its enormous potential, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's brand new premium report on the company. Simply click here now to access your company and, as an added bonus, you'll receive a full year of key updates and expert guidance as news continues to develop.


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