Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Rallying to yet another record-high close, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) added 16 points, or 1%, to close at 1,650 Tuesday. Counting dividend reinvestments, the market has surged more than 160% since its most recent low in March 2009. Many long-term investors have been amply rewarded since then -- if they've had the patience to stay in the market. And a long-term mind-set certainly remains the most profitable way to think about stocks, but it's still useful to keep track of the big daily movers. 

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  ) , which mines and produces a variety of materials like coal and iron ore, sunk 2.7%. The stock was hit by worries out of China, after JPMorgan Chase reduced its growth outlook for the country. Cutting its 2013 growth estimates to 7.6% from the prior 7.8% figure, Tuesday marks a second straight day of underwhelming figures on China. Yesterday, data showed a surprising deceleration in industrial production. 

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) slumped 2.4% Tuesday, although there was little material company-related news. One knock on Apple in the post-Steve Jobs era is the lack of innovation as the pipeline of offerings developed under the deceased CEO and visionary dries up. Another aspect of the stock today you don't often hear discussed is the dividend payout, which, at a 2.7% annual clip, doesn't look too shabby. 

Lastly, shares of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU  ) earned a spot on this list for the second straight day, as the downward momentum sent the stock another 1.8% lower. Aside from the worries coming out of China this week -- not to mention more fundamental questions about coal itself as an energy source -- Peabody's decision to pump the brakes on capital spending shows its reluctance to invest heavily in its own future. Management expects capital expenditures to slow by 50% in fiscal year 2013 compared with fiscal year 2012.

Cliffs Natural Resources has grown from a domestic iron ore producer into an international player in both the iron ore and metallurgical coal markets. It has also underwhelmed investors lately, especially after its dramatic 76% dividend cut in February. However, it could now be looked at as a possible value play because of several factors that are likely to remain advantageous for Cliffs' management. For details on these advantages and more, click here now to check out The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company.


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