Today’s 3 Worst Stocks

Another day, another dollar for the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) . Thursday's 0.4% advance marks the fifth straight day that the index has posted gains, this time, on the heels of data from the Labor Department showing a continued slide in applications for unemployment benefits. Overall, today was just another good day to own equities. But there are always a few bad apples, so without further ado, let's take a brief look at the cause of the rot in these three S&P sluggards. 

Safeway (NYSE: SWY  ) was no safe haven for its stockholders today, slipping 13.9% on results that reveal several things. The first and most obvious is that Safeway's numbers aren't blowing anyone away; comparable store sales were barely up, while margins took a hit. The second -- and arguably more disturbing -- thing we can glean from results is the fact that the grocer took a massive tax break in a relatively weak quarter, raising eyebrows about how desperately the company panders to financial appearance vs. well, you know, reality. 

Proud cloud computing enabler Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS  ) had to weather a bit of stormy news today, falling 7% after a disappointing quarter that saw earnings slip 16%. One can always look to the future for solace, but there was none to be found in Citrix's guidance today, as it held revenue expectations steady, and forecast lower earnings than previously projected. No word yet on whether a flurry of good luck is moving in from the east, but I wouldn't count on it.

Lastly, shares in communication technology giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) took a bit of a beating today, slumping 5.4% after analysts from both Oppenheimer and Barclays lowered price targets. Though the firms still maintained buy ratings on the stock, Qualcomm's quarterly report yesterday clearly jittered the markets; the company itself called for lower earnings than expected in the third quarter, raising concerns about future growth.

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