Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Down big earlier in the day, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) regained some of its standing by the time of the closing bell, but it still wasn't quite enough: The index suffered its worst week of 2013 in the first week of April, losing 1% in the past five trading days. But even as the S&P had its fair share of losers Friday, three stocks in particular stood out as major laggards.

The victim of a severe double-whammy, F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV  ) simply got pummeled today, falling 19%, after preliminary quarterly projections caused a flurry of analyst downgrades. In a true sign of just how awful its second quarter guidance was, the network technology provider even dragged down several of its competitors today, as Wall Street worried whether the numbers were an indication of the industry's fundamental health.

It's hard to outdo nearly 20% losses, but Aflac's (NYSE: AFL  ) 3.9% slide today was nothing to scoff at, either. Shares of the insurer slumped as bond yields declined further; investment capital flocked from equities to lower-risk bonds, driving 10-year Treasuries to a mere 1.7% rate. Low rates are especially harmful to insurance giants like Aflac, which can hold billions of dollars in low-risk securities as collateral for potential policy payouts. 

One of the aforementioned competitors limping into the weekend on F5 Networks' gloomy announcement was Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR  ) , which closes out our list of underperformers after a 3.2% drop on Friday. Though investors will have to wait until April 24 to hear Juniper's official quarterly results, the market has no reason to think that the company will outperform after hearing of another stalled network communications business. Of course, just because F5 isn't coming along as planned doesn't necessarily mean that Juniper is struggling, but decreased spending by major service providers AT&T and Verizon is cause for legitimate concern for Juniper.

Today's rush to the bond market shows us that income investors still have a big say in the market. If you're on the lookout for high-yielding stocks that have the potential for a much larger return than fixed income, The Motley Fool has compiled a special free report outlining our nine top dependable dividend-paying stocks. It's called "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks." You can access your copy today at no cost! Just click here.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2013, at 7:43 PM, boofero wrote:

    RE: Aflac, the 4% drop is more likely to do with the decline in the Yen then rates. Since they earn 80% of profits in Japan, a falling Yen hurts their US $ Profits.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2349344, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2014 5:32:40 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement