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

The worst performers in the stock market today all came from the technology sector.

Jan 28, 2014 at 7:08PM

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.

For two out of three stocks and nine out of 10 sectors, Tuesday brought something the stock market hasn't seen much of in 2014: gains. As you might have guessed, this article will be ignoring those companies entirely, instead focusing on the three largest laggards in the entire S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC). As fate would have it, they all hail from the same beleaguered sector: technology. Tech slumped 0.9% as a whole, watching helplessly as the S&P 500 added 10 points, or 0.6%, to end at 1,792. 

Shares of data storage company Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) were the most abject losers in the entire index, cratering 11.3% after reporting subpar results for its second quarter of the fiscal year. Seagate Technology is one of many companies that's evolved to embrace the cloud computing revolution, offering data solutions on the cloud for businesses. This is a proactive focus, no doubt, but Wall Street was particularly disappointed with the company's inability to execute and cash in on their timely efforts. Despite the earnings miss, Wall Street analysts remain uncharacteristically unperturbed by the weak quarter, citing Seagate's enterprise-facing services as a catalyst for future growth.

Now for the Big Kahuna: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the largest public company on the planet saw shares lose 8% in trading today. Shares of the tech giant hit three-month lows on Tuesday after iPhone sales missed analyst estimates. The iPhone, which revolutionized the cell phone industry when it made its debut in 2007, now accounts for a majority of Apple's revenue, but with competition from Android-run devices and Microsoft's Windows Phone, consumers have a lot of choices. Investors are waiting patiently for Apple's next groundbreaking innovative product, but with Steve Jobs gone, some are losing faith in the company's ability to replicate its past successes. 

Worries about specialty glass producer Corning's (NYSE:GLW) display business cost shareholders 6.2% today, even after the company exceeded revenue and earnings expectations. Corning's LCD products will likely command a lower price from now on, the company said, citing agreements it made two years ago to match competitors prices. On top of that, Corning's Gorilla Glass is a component in both Apple and Samsung smartphones, so the worries over iPhone growth had direct and dire consequences for its stock today.

The smartphone war's best-kept secret ... and who the real winner is
While iPhone sales might not have impressed Wall Street, they still reached all-time highs and helped Apple post $57.6 billion in revenue. Despite these gaudy numbers, 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."

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

The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Corning, and Microsoft. 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.

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