Today’s 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

Two tech companies, and one health-care laggard end as the worst performers in the stock market today

Feb 28, 2014 at 7:36PM

Dogged late in the day by news that Russian troops had invaded a volatile southern region of Ukraine, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) still managed to close at an all-time high. With the extent of the military aggression still unknown, the conflict could either have a negligible impact on U.S. financial markets next week, or morph into a geopolitical nightmare that sends stocks tumbling. Focusing, instead, on new data surrounding the health of the U.S. economy, investors sent stocks higher, and the S&P added five points, or 0.3%, to end at 1,859. 

GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 was roughly in line with estimates, at 2.4%, and consumer sentiment -- considered a gauge of consumer spending activity, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy -- was slightly higher than expected. Beating expectations wasn't enough for (NYSE:CRM) investors though, as shares of the cloud services stock shed 5.8% on Friday. The company, which offers products that help businesses manage and increase sales, clearly knows a thing or two about sales in its own right. Revenue jumped 37% in the most recent quarter, but with losses ballooning to $116 million in the period, shareholders got fed up, and CFO Graham Smith took the opportunity to announce his departure from the company. 

Biopharmaceutical company Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) also saw shares dip on Friday, as they slumped 3.9%. Although there was no obvious reason for today's fall, Alexion Pharmaceuticals stock is richly priced, trading at 100 times earnings, making it more vulnerable to whiplash-inducing pullbacks at the drop of a hat. Alexion shareholders, unlike investors, can happily tolerate a loss -- they sent the stock rocketing 20% higher in late January after Alexion reported a $19 million loss in the fourth quarter. 

Lastly, shares of Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL) lost 3.4% Friday, the victim of a stock downgrade and an underperforming tech sector. Raymond James analysts downgraded the stock from outperform to market perform, which is a lengthy way of saying they don't think there's anything special about Jabil Circuit stock. For investors, it's important to understand that Wall Street often listens to its own analysts -- thus giving them the power to move stock prices; but this says nothing about the reliability of analyst predictions. So think for yourself, and don't buy or sell stocks on the advice of "experts," who aren't primarily incentivized for their accuracy.

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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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