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

These three unfortunate stocks -- from the materials and consumer goods sectors -- ended as the worst performers in the stock market today

Feb 25, 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 briefly hitting an all-time high yesterday, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) eased lower today as seven of the market's 10 sectors finished in the red. Earnings season is still in full swing, and with new home sales, jobless claims and fourth quarter GDP all set to be released by week's end, we may see larger swings in the days ahead. Today, though, the S&P 500 was relatively stable, losing just 2 points, or 0.1%, to end at 1,845. 

In sharp contrast to the market's broader serenity on Tuesday, three members of the S&P were anything but stable, finishing with steep losses. Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF), for instance, lost 4.8%, ending in the depths of the benchmark index for a second straight day. Cliffs Natural Resources mines for coal and iron ore -- both steel components -- and as such is sensitive to the supply of and demand for steel. Reports that Asian banks are approaching real estate lending more cautiously caused steel prices to stumble yesterday; decreased lending would imply softer steel demand from Eastern builders. 

Shares of Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST), makers of the eponymous Monster energy drink, slumped 4.2% today. Despite no changes to the company's underlying fundamentals, the stock took a hit after Longbow Research analysts decided to downgrade shares to "underperform" from "neutral." The stock's current $12 billion valuation reflects high growth expectations from Wall Street – expectations that Monster has been able to meet and exceed in recent years as the stock nearly quadrupled in the last five years. But with health concerns about the impact of energy drinks on young adults more prominent than ever in the public arena, Monster faces a distinct regulatory risk in the years ahead.

The last of the day's laggards, Oklahoma-based WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX), which explores and develops oil and natural gas properties, shed 3.5% Tuesday, as pre-earnings jitters sent shares lower in trading. WPX Energy reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, and investors are hoping fiscal 2013 will be a turnaround year for the company, which saw sales fall in each of the four previous years. Analysts expect 2013 revenue to reverse this ugly trend, although they also expect WPX to suffer a fourth straight year of losses. Wall Street doesn't expect the company to return to profitability this year either, so keep that in mind before betting on a turnaround. 

OPEC's worst nightmare
Imagine a company that rents a very specific and valuable piece of machinery for $41,000 per hour. (That's almost as much as the average American makes in a year!) And Warren Buffett is so confident in this company's can't-live-without-it business model, he just loaded up on 8.8 million shares. An exclusive, brand-new Motley Fool report reveals the company we're calling OPEC's Worst Nightmare. Just click here to uncover the name of this industry-leading stock, and join Buffett in his quest for a veritable landslide of profits!

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 and owns shares of Monster Beverage. 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.

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