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

Although the stock market was relatively tranquil today, these three stocks didn't get the memo, falling between 3% and 9%

Feb 26, 2014 at 7:40PM

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.

As the price of Bitcoin swings wildly, some angry investors in the crypto-currency have taken to the streets, others are calling for government intervention, and still others are simply weeping more than usual. The currency's value has taken a huge hit as one of the most-used Bitcoin exchanges, Mt. Gox, crumbled into nothingness, the apparent victim of cybercrime.

The great thing about investing in stocks, on the other hand, is their liquidity and ubiquity -- good luck starting a "Mt. Stox" in your basementl I'll stick with the NYSE, thank you. The "price" investors pay for this security is the price stability that comes with volume and transparency. And price stability can be awful boring. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC), for example, added just 0.04 points today, or literally 0.00%, to end at 1,845.

This stagnancy didn't seem to affect First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), which channeled its inner bitcoin, slumping 9.1% today. Shares of the largest American solar panel manufacturer got hammered by Wall Street after its fourth-quarter results revealed a troubling trend: First Solar isn't selling as many massive power plants as it once did. Net income fell nearly 60% last quarter as revenue dropped off almost 30% in the same period.

While First Solar's abysmal quarter was an admirable attempt at losing its way to the bottom of the S&P, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) gave First Solar a run for its money. Chesapeake stock lost 4.9%, as fourth-quarter income undercut analyst expectations by more than 30%. In fairness, much of the quarter's weakness was out of the company's hands -- average realized oil and natural gas prices both fell in the fourth quarter, and the company continued to beef up its balance sheets through the sale of valuable assets after ex-CEO Aubrey McClendon left the company financially strained. 

Finally, shares of $5 billion telecom services company Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:FTR) shed 2.8% Wednesday, although the circumstances of its fall from glory are far different from Chesapeake and First Solar. Frontier Communications actually fell in the aftermath of the stock's 10% jump on yesterday, which was sparked by a pleasantly surprising earnings beat. Although sales were flat, Wall Street expected this, and the fact that the business continues to add broadband customers in each successive quarter is a promising trend.

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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 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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