Today’s 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

These three laggards stood out as some of the worst performers in the stock market today.

Jan 23, 2014 at 7:01PM

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.

In what amounted to the first day of widespread bearishness of the young year, investors sold off heavily in the stock market today. Seizing on data from China showing a contraction in its manufacturing sector, Wall Street was easily spooked and dismissed corporate America's earnings -- which have largely been in line -- as an afterthought. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell 16 points, or 0.9%, to end at 1,828. 

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), the auto-parts maker, slumped 4.4% today, even though it announced earnings that exceeded expectations in the most recent quarter. Why would Wall Street, in its infinite wisdom, go out of its way to punish a company like Johnson Controls, fresh off a great quarter? Because you're buying a company's future -- not its past -- when you invest in any particular stock. And Johnson Controls painted a dimmer view of the future than shareholders would've liked. But it's hard to say that a 45% yearly bump in net income, which is what the company expects to achieve in its next quarter, demonstrates a floundering company. Clearly expectations were unreasonable in their own right.

No stranger to this list, Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) lost 4.3% today. Its most recent troubles stem from a Morgan Stanley note highlighting potential risks in a joint project with a China-based steel company, Wuhan Iron & Steel. The two companies are jointly developing a Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec, but Wuhan has apparently begun slowing its payments to Cliffs Natural Resources, sparking fears that it could pull out of its partnership altogether. It certainly doesn't help that this news broke on the same day China showed weakness in the manufacturing sector, so keep an eye on China-dependent companies moving forward. 

Finally, Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), which provides various goods and services to businesses to facilitate communication, saw shares fall 3.7% today. If you're a big believer in "reversion to the mean," then today's decline may be indicative of something larger. Stock in the company, fresh off a 120% return that made it one of 2013's best S&P performers, is down marginally so far in 2014. Pitney Bowes is a volatile stock and consumer goods was a beleaguered sector on Thursday, so its slump may simply be due to widespread bearishness and stymied momentum.

The Motley Fool's three stocks to own forever
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

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 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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