Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Why Pioneer Natural Resources, United States Steel Corp., and Best Buy Co. Are Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Nine in 10 sectors ended in the black, and most stocks advanced in the stock market today. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) eked higher yet again, tacking on its fourth-straight day of gains. With no terribly important economic indicators to look forward to for the rest of the week, Wall Street will look to corporate America instead for guidance as earnings season continues in full force. Despite Monday's general optimism, Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD  ) , United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X  ) , and Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY  ) each tumbled like clumsy kids polka-dancing today. The S&P 500, however, proved itself a competent dancer, adding 7 points, or 0.4%, to end the day at 1,871.

Shares of Pioneer Natural Resources fell 1.6%, bringing an end to a four-day win streak of their own. The oil and natural gas producer focuses most of its extraction efforts in Spraberry field and the Eagle Ford Shale play, both in Texas. With billions of barrels of proven oil and natural gas liquids to its name, as well as hundreds of billions of cubic feet of gas in its reserves, Pioneer Natural's stock tends to fluctuate with the prices of those commodities. While oil prices were nearly unchanged Monday, the price of natural gas fell by nearly 1%, impairing the value of the company's significant reserves.

U.S. Steel blast furnace being tapped. Source: U.S. Steel website.

United States Steel Corp., although an industrial mainstay in the U.S. for more than 100 years, is a volatile stock, and shares shed 1.5% today to prove it. It pays a meager 0.7% annual dividend, and shareholders can thank their lucky stars that interest rates are staying low for the time being, since U.S. Steel can't even afford to pay that out of their own pockets. U.S. Steel hasn't made a dime in the last five years, and even sales have fallen for the last two years. If interest rates were to rise markedly in the near future, the company might not deem it wise to continue borrowing money to pay dividends, and U.S. Steel could be forced to cut its dividend again, as it did in 2009. Investors should look over next week's quarterly earnings carefully and listen to the conference call for what management says about getting profitability back on track.

Best Buy also finished in the depths of the S&P 500, losing 1.5% Monday. Last week, after a nearly 30-year veteran of the company decided to step down as head of its U.S. retail operations, as the stock tumbled more than 4% in two days. Perhaps he sees the trend Best Buy bears have been harping about for years: anything that can be sold online is being sold online, and if there's one area that's fighting for survival because of e-commerce competition its consumer electronics. Best Buy, of course, is still with us, and I doubt it'll be going the way of Circuit City any time soon. But with same-store-sales down 0.8% in its last fiscal year, worries about Best Buy's long-term staying power are legitimate.

3 stock picks to ride America's energy bonanza
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 look at three energy companies using a small IRS "loophole" to help line investor pockets. Learn this strategy, and the energy companies taking advantage, in our special report "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Energy Investment." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2014, at 6:12 PM, davidscott1 wrote:

    I recently read that cheap imports from China are going to be a factor that would affect the sales of the US steel industry including US Steel itself. The US steel imports have risen since the start of this year. A worrying sign indeed.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2923188, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/27/2015 3:45:01 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

John Divine

Fool since 2012, unique fingerprints since birth. Age 7: Put lifetime savings ($18.37!) in the bank, became disillusioned with low interest, and a fascination with the stock market was born.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,498.36 212.85 1.31%
S&P 500 1,974.46 33.95 1.75%
NASD 4,771.40 73.86 1.57%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/27/2015 3:34 PM
^GSPC $1972.62 Up +32.11 +1.65%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
BBY $35.53 Up +0.28 +0.78%
Best Buy CAPS Rating: *
PXD $113.51 Up +4.65 +4.27%
Pioneer Natural Re… CAPS Rating: **
X $16.60 Up +2.00 +13.70%
United States Stee… CAPS Rating: ***