Why Marathon Petroleum, Dollar General, and Teradata Tumbled Last Week

These stocks did the worst in the S&P 500.

Jun 29, 2014 at 12:05PM

The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) didn't manage to make more gains last week, but it didn't fall too far, either, with a drop of just a couple of points reassuring many that the stock market is still in prime position to rebound and reach new record levels in the near future. Yet downward pressure from many stocks within the S&P 500 contributed to the week's losses, and Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), and Teradata (NYSE:TDC) were among the worst performers in the index.

Source: Marathon Petroleum.

Marathon Petroleum's 11% loss came amid substantial drops throughout the refining industry as the company came to grips with a U.S. Department of Commerce decision allowing two companies to export a form of condensate, or what many are calling ultra-light crude oil. Many investors panicked at the outset, figuring that the decision signaled a huge change in U.S. trade policy that would eventually open the floodgates to wholesale export of all types of U.S.-produced crude and therefore eliminate the cost advantage for domestic crude that Marathon Petroleum and its peers have taken advantage of for years. Yet it's far from clear that the Commerce Department decision is anything other than a short-term response to current conditions in the domestic oil and gas market, and even in a worst-case scenario, Marathon Petroleum should be able to adapt to limit any damage to its margins in the long run.


Source: Dollar General.

Dollar General fell 9% as investors reassessed the likelihood of a merger with one of its major peers in the dollar-store industry in light of the resignation of CEO Richard Dreiling. Activist investor Carl Icahn has argued that consolidation in the dollar-store arena is necessary to help companies eliminate cannibalizing each other's business opportunities and to eliminate duplicated costs. Yet with Dreiling leaving the company, Dollar General will have to focus its efforts on finding a replacement chief executive to lead the company forward. Unless that search leads Dollar General toward exactly the merger Icahn has in mind, any merger efforts might get put on the back burner until the top-spot situation gets resolved.

Teradata dropped 8% in a steady weeklong decline. Early in the week, an analyst downgrade raised questions about whether the data warehousing and analytics provider will be able to deal with competition from other service providers in the industry. In particular, Hadoop and other companies using more comprehensive open-source solutions represent a threat to Teradata, with some customers pointing to cost advantages from using Teradata's competitors. For its part, Teradata released a tool this week that improved the performance of certain open-source analytics platforms, but the company has to do more to keep its overall growth rate moving in the right direction.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning -- it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee that its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming that its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts that 485 million of these devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and to see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Dan Caplinger and the Motley Fool own shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Teradata. 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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers