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

United States Steel, Cliffs Natural Resources, and Time Warner Cable all end at the bottom of the stock market today

Feb 19, 2014 at 7:18PM

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.

After cautiously edging higher on Tuesday, sellers were out in full force in the stock market today. Not only did new data show that builders broke ground on fewer homes than expected in January, but on top of that Federal Reserve policy makers have started debating when interest rates should start heading northward again. If there's one thing the stock market hates with consistency it's higher interest rates, and the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was no exception today, losing 12 points, or 0.7%, to end at `1,828.

Two out of every three stocks in the market managed to lose ground Wednesday, so United States Steel (NYSE:X) had some competition as it lost its way to the bottom of the S&P 500 today. Shares of United States Steel tumbled 7% after the Department of Commerce ruled, by omission, that South Korea is not exporting steel into the U.S. at less than cost, as U.S. Steel had alleged back in December. Still, after conducting its review, the government imposed tariffs on eight other countries to correct for unfair pricing, though a Korean tariff would have been seen as a huge win.

Coal and iron ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) shed 4% Wednesday as the volatile stock suffered repercussions from the broader market sell-off, an ex-dividend date, and pressure from an activist investor to change its corporate structure. Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources were already facing an uphill battle today because the stock went "ex-dividend," allowing anyone who owned shares at yesterday's close to sell them today and still receive the next quarterly dividend payment. Mix that in with a public debate about how to return cash to shareholders and a bearish market, and, voila: you've got a 4% decline.

Finally, Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) stock, which was all over the news last week when Comcast announced plans to acquire it, dropped 2.8% today. While the $45 billion merger was first reported a week ago, it's not official yet, and is pending an FCC review. Lawsuits against Time Warner Cable and Comcast are beginning to pop up, and the deal is sure to get more media scrutiny in the days and weeks ahead. Although it's doubtful that lawsuits alone will impede the merger, whether the deal goes through or not, cable companies will need to address the growing competition that Google's Fiber network poses in the long-run, as the search giant expands its efforts to nine new urban areas.

3 stocks for America's next energy boom
Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry will pad your investment nest egg. For this reason, the Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

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

The Motley Fool recommends 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