The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) charged ahead to a sixth-straight day of gains on Tuesday, locking in the longest consecutive bullish streak since November 2013. Are corporate profits at all-time highs? Not exactly. Are Americans getting full-time jobs like we've never seen before? That's a definitive no. But there isn't anywhere else to earn a return on your money, so in a low-rate environment, stocks are the investments that savers turn to. It would be a shame if you turned to these three stocks today, as they all finished at the bottom of the 500-stock index: Pentair, (NYSE:PNR), Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION) and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY) each ended as some of the most abhorrent names in the stock market today.
Investors in the Swiss-based Pentair saw the stock slump 6.9% today after first-quarter sales came in well below Wall Street expectations. Not only did the suits on Wall Street find issue with Pentair's previous quarter, they've already picked a bone with the company's projected sales in the second quarter. Pentair steadfastly forecasts earnings per share of between $3.85 and $4 per share in 2014, easily allowing for the $3.96 in annual forecasts some firms have been looking for to materialize.
The $5.5 billion Regional Pacific bank, Zions Bancorp, also couldn't please Wall Street on Tuesday, as shares tumbled 2% in trade. The Salt Lake City-based bank failed the Federal Reserve's mandatory stress tests, a rigorous set of conditions banks of a certain size must quality for if they hope to raise dividends or continue with stock buybacks. What is unique, and perhaps comforting, from a shareholder perspective is Zions' insistence that top executives will not be paid bonuses until the company finally passes the stress tests.
Switching subjects from banks to health care, Eli Lilly & Co. tumbled 1.4% today, as talks of acquiring Novartis' animal-health business got serious. According to Reuters, Novartis is willing to part with its animal-health business for $5.4 billion, an acquisition that would make Eli Lilly & Co. the second-biggest animal-health treatment group by sales, next to Zoetis, which was spun off by Pfizer in 2013. Novartis wants to offer Eli its animal-health division for two reasons: Novartis knows Eli could use it to secure its market position in that area, and the $5.4 billion price tag just happens to be what Eli Lilly held in cash at the end of its last fiscal year.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Pentair. 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.