Today’s 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

Materials, technology stocks dominate today's worst performers

Mar 7, 2014 at 7:23PM

The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) set a new all-time closing record for the third time this week on Friday. Behind the advance was the Labor Department's monthly nonfarm payrolls report, which showed a stronger jobs market than Wall Street expected. The S&P is now up 2% in 2014, and 24% in the last year; the benchmark index added one point, or 0.1%, ending at 1,878 on Friday.

 Coal miner Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) was the index's most severe decliner, dropping 5.3% in trade on Friday. The losses follow a sudden shift in the structure of the business, as well as an executive shakeup, both announced on Wednesday. Peabody Energy, like other coal miners, has been hit by reports that Chinese banks may be increasingly reluctant to loan to real estate developers. China's real estate boom has driven demand for steel -- which is partially composed of coal -- and due to this dynamic, high rises in China have quite a bit of relevance to American portfolios with exposure to coal companies. Thankfully, Peabody is also involved in the thermal coal business, helping it to diversify. 

Shares of another materials company, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), shed 4.9% Friday after a power-rationing plan in the Congo raised fears that the company's operations could be adversely affected. The Congo is in a bit of an energy crisis, and lacks the resources to supply both its populus and the mining interests in its nation with adequate energy. The Congo situation aside, copper prices plummeted 4.2% today, and the price of gold also fell, naturally putting a strain on Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's profitability. 

Finally, shares of (NYSE:CRM) lost 3.8% today, as fallout from the company's statement earlier in the week intensified. On Tuesday, disclosed that it couldn't differentiate between money it pulled in from new customers, and money it received from existing customers upgrading. Consider the fact that the stock is fairly volatile, and technology was already one of the worst-performing sectors of the day, and today's slump starts to make some sense.

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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 recommends The Motley Fool owns shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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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