Today's 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

December retail sales power a surge in the stock market today, though three S&P laggards didn't share in the gains.

Jan 14, 2014 at 7:40PM

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.

A jubilant Wall Street bid the stock market higher today, as U.S. retail sales data from December managed to top some truly low expectations. You might have trouble believing that a 0.2% monthly rise in retail sales sparked Tuesday's rally, but then you'd be forgetting that was double what analysts expected. That was plenty for investors, who sent the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) up 19 points, or 1.1%, to end at 1,838. 

Although nearly three stocks advanced for every one that fell today, Tuesday's underperformers were able to boldly ignore the sweeping optimism of the market and decline for their own reasons. Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), for instance, finished as one of the day's most notable losers, retreating 2% by the session's end. The company is simply in the wrong business at the wrong time: Newmont Mining is in the copper and gold excavation industry. And in case you've been under a rock mining for gold for the last year, you should know that gold's popularity has waned. The price of the precious metal has fallen more than 25% from 52-week highs in the face of an economic recovery and the Federal Reserve's long-anticipated "tapering" policies.

Similar macro issues drove down shares of Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN), which fell 1.5% today. Since the company's unique nature as a real estate investment trust allows it to redistribute earnings directly to investors for tax purposes, Health Care REIT acts a little differently than a "normal" stock. Although I think its focus on senior living properties is a shrewd niche to target considering an aging baby-boomer population, the company can't escape the negative effects of rising interest rates on shareholder returns. Today's low-rate environment allows the business to easily borrow money in order to reward investors, but the transition to a higher-rate era will be painful and may mean diminished distributions.

Finally, shares of Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD), a Seattle-based logistics company, slipped 1% today. Today's pullback wasn't preceded by any disappointing news or company scandal, and with most of its peers advancing with the market, it's tough to say where the negative sentiment originated. One thing is unequivocally true: The company maintains a solid business and knows how to turn a profit. However, its inability to grow beyond recent levels must be troubling for investors, as they've watched commerce increase and the company's results remain stagnant in recent years. Hopefully Expeditors International of Washington veteran and incoming CEO Jeffrey S. Musser will be able to rattle the cage and boost profits when he takes the helm on March 1.

The death of Wal-Mart: The real cash kings changing the face of retail
December's retail numbers managed to top expectations, and with the U.S. on the road to economic redemption, consumer spending should continue to increase. To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

Fool contributor John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Health Care REIT and owns shares of Expeditors International of Washington. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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

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, 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