Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Stocks wavered on Monday as the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) fell nearly 2 points, or 0.1%, on a day with light news. Although the S&P traded above 1,700 -- at all-time highs -- just weeks ago, it's been faltering since, and closed at 1,689 today.

While the S&P has been slowly losing ground, food-service distributor Sysco (NYSE: SYY  ) has been slumping more efficiently, losing 5.8% today to end at the bottom of the index. Misguided expectations were to blame: The company reported quarterly earnings today, and Wall Street wasn't impressed, despite posting higher-than-projected earnings. It was the profit decline that did it -- earnings per share fell from $0.54 a year ago to $0.47 per share in the most recent quarter.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN  ) , up nearly 300% in the last three years, stumbled 4.2% on Monday. Investors will have to wait until October 21 to hear the next quarter's results, so it wasn't a weak season of sales that hurt the company; biotechs were simply out of favor in the market. Though there wasn't a major catalyst behind the move today, some may be worried by CEO Bell Leonard's $24 million stock sale at the end of July, but investors should take solace in the fact that the top executive is still heavily aligned with shareholder interests, with more than $100 million in Alexion stock to his name. 

Finally, Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE: APD  ) shed 3.3%, rounding out the daily list of laggards. The company, which sells atmospheric and specialty gases -- you can find many of its products on the periodic table of elements -- has a somewhat volatile sales history. Though it registered more than $10.4 billion in sales in 2008, it hasn't brought in that kind of business since, and sold just $9.6 billion of its wares in 2012. 

The best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.


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