Today’s 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

While the market wavered, two coal miners and one tech stock knew exactly where they were going in the stock market today: lower.

Jan 3, 2014 at 7:37PM

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.

While the Dow may have been able to squeak by with meager gains Friday, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) wasn't so lucky. Telecom was the worst sector in the stock market today, but three of the most severe decliners came from tech and basic materials. At the end of the day, stocks were torn, tugged higher by a Federal Reserve committed to quantitative easing, and pulled lower by December auto sales that failed to impress. The S&P ended the day down 0.6 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 1,831. 

Investors in today's three laggards certainly wish their stocks had been as indecisive as the broader market Friday; Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU), for instance, ended as the index's most substantial decliner, losing 3.9%. A coal miner, Peabody Energy mines for both thermal and metallurgical coal, selling its product to utilities providers and titans of industry alike. Peabody could be in a prime position to benefit should natural gas prices continue to rise, as energy consumers switch to a more cost-efficient coal. Natural gas isn't far off from 52-week highs, but Peabody didn't catch any breaks today, as natural gas prices actually fell slightly.

Far away from the coal mines, shares of Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) fell 3.2% today after the stock was downgraded by RBC Capital, which cited valuation concerns as the reason for its newly unenthusiastic outlook. The chipmaker could indeed be in for tougher times if monster customer Apple decides to scale back purchases of Micron Technology's dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, products. Apple -- a company worth nearly half a trillion dollars -- is more than 20 times larger than Micron, and certainly has the upper hand in the leverage game.

Lastly, shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) shed 3% today, driving home the point that it was truly a bad day for coal miners. Cliffs Natural Resources can in some way be seen as a derivative play on steel prices, since its two big focuses are iron ore and metallurgical coal, key ingredients in the metal's industrial production. While Goldman Sachs sees global steel consumption rising nearly 5% this year, these projections haven't meant much to Cliffs Natural, which has gotten off to a rough start in 2014.

Three stocks for America's next energy boom
Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry will pad your investment nest egg. For this reason, the Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Fool contributor John Divine owns shares of Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Goldman Sachs. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers