Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Coming to terms with the newest payroll numbers -- the private sector added around 135,000 jobs in May, when economists had been looking for 170,000 -- the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) lost 22 points, or 1.4% Wednesday, ending at 1,608. But the index's three biggest losers all had far worse problems, each managing easily to triple the S&P's losses for the day, and then some.

Fastenal (NASDAQ: FAST  ) , which sells industrial and construction materials, dropped 6.3% today on the heels of April U.S. factory orders that disappointed. Not only did those numbers appear to threaten Fastenal's future results, but one analyst also said today that the opposite may be true as well: The very fact that Fastenal's recent sales underwhelmed may indicate a structurally weaker manufacturing environment moving forward. 

Shares in Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF  ) currently sport a beta of 2.07, which means the stock is more than twice as volatile as the larger market. A case in point would be the last two days of trading: Yesterday, Cliffs ended as one of the day's 3 Best Stocks; today, well ... you found it here. Slumping 5%, Cliffs shares are reacting to iron ore prices that, while having staged a small comeback, still remain on a disturbing downward trend. With the combination of overproduction and slowing Chinese industrial growth, investors forgot what they were so excited about yesterday and sold off again today.

Lastly, shares of biopharmaceutical Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG  ) stumbled 4.7%, its fourth straight day of losses on high trading volume. The declines came even after today's news that the FDA approved Revlimid, Celgene's oral treatment for a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Revlimid already accounted for $1 billion in revenue in the first quarter, but the new indication may add only $25 million to $50 million to that quarterly figure.

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 due to 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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