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

Technology and finance dominate the worst performers in the stock market today ahead of Apple's earnings.

Jan 27, 2014 at 7:05PM

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.

Investors entered the week hoping to put Friday's nightmarish 2% sell-off behind them. Wall Street had other plans. Last week's steep losses and the poor performance of the stock market thus far in January have rekindled a familiar debate: Is this the beginning of a more severe pullback, or a prime buying opportunity? This week should be pivotal in helping to answer that question. Not only is earnings season going strong, but the extent of the next Federal Reserve taper will be known by Wednesday, and GDP figures will be released on Thursday. With so many catalysts on the horizon, investors were decidedly risk-averse on Monday, and the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) lost 8 points, or 0.5%, to end at 1,781.

Xerox (NYSE:XRX) stock slumped 5.6% today, ending as one of the S&P's most severe decliners. In all fairness, shares of the document management company may be due for a cooldown. Earlier this month Xerox stock soared to 52-week highs capping off a 70% rally. Although the company met quarterly expectations last week and even raised its dividend by almost 9%, Wall Street isn't impressed. Barclays downgraded Xerox shares from "equal weight" to "underweight," slapping a $10 price target on the stock. After today's sell-off, Xerox closed at $10.61.

A similar fate befell E*Trade Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) stock today, as shares lost 4.3% in trade. The online brokerage ironically fell victim to the very services it provides, slipping on volume more than twice its three month average. At least E*Trade racked up some commissions in the process. The company swung to the black in the fourth quarter, earning about $58 million in the period, a stark contrast to the $186 million in losses posted just a year before. Again, Wall Street yawned at the remarkable comeback story, and shareholders headed for the exits today.

Lastly, tech giant Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) shed 3.3% on Monday, as pre-earnings jitters rattled shares. Yahoo! will report fourth-quarter results Tuesday afternoon, and a recent shakeup at the top of the corporate ladder has investors worried those results might not dazzle. CEO Marissa Mayer got rid of her former Google colleague Henrique de Castro, whom she'd recruited to be Yahoo!'s COO, earlier this month. Cautious statements from analysts surrounding the search company's stake in China's Alibaba are also at play behind today's pullback. Much more will be known about Yahoo!'s health in just 24 hours.

The smartphone war's best-kept secret ... and who the real winner is
Marissa Mayer has been praised during her brief tenure at the helm of Yahoo! for her focus on mobile as a driver of growth. Do you want to get in on the smartphone phenomenon with her? Truth be told, one company sits at the crossroads of smartphone technology as we know it. It's not your typical household name, either. In fact, you've probably never even heard of it! But it stands to reap massive profits no matter who ultimately wins the smartphone war. To find out what it is, click here to access the "One Stock You Must Buy Before the iPhone-Android War Escalates Any Further."

Fool contributor John Divine owns shares of Google. The Motley Fool recommends Google and Yahoo! and owns shares of Google. 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.

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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information