Today’s 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

One notable laggard can't seem to stop falling; services, retail, and tech names all end among the worst performers in the stock market today.

Jan 17, 2014 at 7:03PM

Although the real estate market continues to show signs of a robust comeback, new data revealing slightly more housing starts in December than expected failed to lift markets. A housing start is logged on the day construction begins on a new, primarily residential, property. U.S. builders broke ground at the rate of about 1 million units a year in December, which was a lower level than the month before, but a 1.6% increase from December 2012. Earnings season held more sway over the stock market today, though results failed to dazzle Wall Street and the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell seven points, or 0.4%, to end at 1,838. 

Far from feeling dazzled, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) shareholders probably feel shock and profound disappointment after a lackluster holiday performance sent the stock plummeting. After shedding nearly 30% yesterday, Best Buy stock fell another 9% Friday, giving shareholders a long weekend to reflect on their staggering losses. The electronics retailer's inability to compete with low-overhead online rivals looks to be a serious long-term issue as reflected by Best Buy's 0.9% same-store sales decline during the holiday period. 

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) slipped 3.2% today, although its slump was mostly due to being in the same line of business as rival Intel, which saw shares fall 2.6% today after a poor earnings report. Intel also said it would eliminate about 5% of its global workforce by the end of the year in an effort to save money and reduce inefficiencies. Wall Street may, however, be drawing inferences too readily in this case; Micron already reported results for the quarter ending in late November, and sales surged more than 120% from the year before. Both companies are fighting desperately for market share in the mobile segment as the age of the PC slowly wanes.

Finally, shares of United States Steel (NYSE:X) shed 3.2%, and for a strange reason. Simply put, domestic steel producers have been too successful recently, and now face heightened expectations that will be tougher to live up to. Citigroup sees the stock's six-month run-up as a risky sign to investors, especially considering the global economics at play. American steel sells for substantial premiums to steel from other major global markets, a dynamic the Wall Street investment bank sees as unsustainable. On top of that, Ford's bold decision to produce a lighter F150 by using aluminum parts in lieu of steel doesn't bode well for future demand from the auto industry.

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 Ford and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup, Ford, and Intel. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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