Why Newmont Mining Corp., Staples, Inc., and Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Are Today's 3 Worst Stocks

While eight in 10 sectors advanced on Tuesday, three companies from three different sectors finished as the worst in the stock market today

May 27, 2014 at 8:04PM

The stock market finished broadly higher on Tuesday, as investors plowed their money into equities, putting two out of every three stocks in the black by the ring of the closing bell. Still, a rising tide never lifts all boats on Wall Street, and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM), Staples, (NASDAQ:SPLS), and Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE:EW) each finished near the bottom of the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) today.

In times of crisis, gold is widely considered to be a "safe haven" investment -- stocks and the price of gold are negatively correlated, meaning that typically when one goes up the other goes down. Shares of the gold, copper, and silver miner Newmont Mining, however, are positively correlated with gold prices, and with the precious metal losing 2% Tuesday, Newmont stock took a 3.1% hit. After soaring to highs of nearly $1,900 an ounce in 2011, gold trades at $1,265 an ounce today, a swift decline that's hit Newmont where it hurts: the company is even selling off assets in Australia, a gold miner's dream country. Right now, the business looks as woeful as the stock's performance, so you might want to think twice before taking a flier on this investment.


Staples is the #3 online retailer next to Amazon and Apple. Image source: Staples.

Staples, even though it doesn't sell gold, still managed to shed 2% today. The pullback comes after investment banking giant Goldman Sachs hit shares with a double-whammy, downgrading the stock from "buy" to "neutral," while simultaneously upgrading shares of arch-rival supplies outfit Office Depot. Just because Goldman thinks Office Depot looks more attractive doesn't mean it's the superior stock, and in fact I think Staples' position in the industry makes the company more attractive today. Staples is the number three online retailer in the world in terms of sales, and with the cost advantages of selling online and its strong position on the web today, Staples is sitting pretty.

The last stock on our list, medical device maker Edwards Lifesciences, stumbled 1.6%, as investors still apparently haven't come to terms with a legal reality that hit the wires last week. You'd think that reaching a deal putting Edwards Lifesciences on the receiving end of a $1.1 billion settlement from Medtronic would put shareholders in a cheery mood, but last Thursday's deal was instead greeted with a 4% drop in the company's share price. Wall Street thought Edwards could've milked Medtronic for even more money, seeing as Medtronic infringed on a lucrative heart valve patent for tremendous commercial gain. Though the company will receive a lump sum of $750 million for the indiscretion, as well as a minimum of $40 million annually through 2022, additional growth will have to come from internal advances rather than legal settlements.

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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 Goldman Sachs and owns shares of Medtronic and Staples. 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.

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