Why Valero Energy Corporation, Intuitive Surgical, Inc., and Allergan Inc. Are Today's 3 Worst Stocks

Two healthcare companies and one oil refiner end up as the worst performers in the stock market today

Jun 30, 2014 at 7:00PM

By the closing bell on Monday, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) had logged a fifth straight month of gains. Those gains helped the benchmark index post an impressive second-quarter performance, as the S&P tacked on 5% in the last three months alone. But while the S&P's quarter was solid, its day wasn't so great, as components like Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), and Allergan (NYSE:AGN) dragged down the benchmark. The S&P ended slightly lower, shedding 0.7 points today, or less than 0.1%, to finish at 1,960.

Valero Energy finished the day as the single-worst performing stock in the group of 500, shedding 3% on Monday. Valero shareholders have reason to be bearish: the U.S. government, in an unforeseen and rather sudden move, announced that it will allow some U.S. companies to export unrefined oil abroad, overturning a 40-year policy in the process. This wasn't just bad news for Valero Energy, but for all U.S. oil refiners, who had previously been guaranteed business from oil companies seeking to export -- before doing so they'd need to refine it into another product.

Da Vinci Xi Surgical Arms Thumb

"da Vinci Xi with Splayed Arms." Source: Intuitive Surgical

Shares of robotic surgery company Intuitive Surgical lost 2.7% on Monday. The slump comes after three consecutive days of increasing gains; last week its newest da Vinci robot, the da Vinci Xi, received the Conformité Européenne Mark, or CE Mark, which will allow the da Vinci Xi to officially be marketed in countries that require the CE Mark as a regulatory thumbs-up. Intuitive Surgical's new system is already approved by the FDA to market the product in the U.S.

The last of today's laggards is also seeing the effects of regulation. Allergan shares tumbled 2.7% Monday after the FDA sent the company a second complete response letter regarding Semprana (formerly Levadex), an acute migrane treatment. In effect this pushes back the earliest date that Allergan can see Semprana officially approved by the FDA until next year. The FDA is reportedly concerned about the aerosol delivery method of the drug, though Allergan has defended Semprana and even suggested it may have data to address the FDA's concerns.

The best biotech investors consistently reap gigantic profits by recognizing true potential earlier and with more accuracy than anyone else. There's a product in development that will revolutionize how we treat a common chronic illness and could even change the entire health industry. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. To outsmart Wall Street and realize multibagger returns, you need The Motley Fool's new free report on the dream team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster. Click here now.

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 and owns shares of Intuitive Surgical. 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.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

Something big just happened

I don't know about you, but I always pay attention when one of the best growth investors in the world gives me a stock tip. Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner (whose growth-stock newsletter was rated #1 in the world by The Wall Street Journal)* and his brother, Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner, just revealed two brand new stock recommendations moments ago. Together, they've tripled the stock market's return over 12+ years. And while timing isn't everything, the history of Tom and David's stock picks shows that it pays to get in early on their ideas.

Click here to be among the first people to hear about David and Tom's newest stock recommendations.

*"Look Who's on Top Now" appeared in The Wall Street Journal which references Hulbert's rankings of the best performing stock picking newsletters over a 5-year period from 2008-2013.

Compare Brokers