What do an electric utility (NextEra), a water treatment company (Ecolab), a termite control company (Rollins), a maker of management and information solutions software (Roper), and a Mexican airport operator (Pacifico) have in common? One correct answer might be "not a whole heck of a lot."
Another correct answer: They all fell victim to Thursday's stock market crash. NextEra shares fell 13.4% in Thursday trading, Ecolab 11.5%, Rollins 10.5%, Roper 10%, and Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, S.A.B. de C.V. 16.5%.
Another thing these five companies have in common: Not a single one of them had any bad news to report today. No bad earnings reports, no analyst downgrades, not so much as a negative revision to some analyst's price target -- and certainly nothing to justify stock value declines of 10% and more.
Instead, all five companies simply shared the misfortune of being publicly traded stocks on a day when the market melted down.
On the one hand, that doesn't feel "fair" at all. If you were an investor in one (or more) of these companies, this certainly is not what you had bargained for. Investors are used to seeing stocks go down because they did something "wrong." It's something we can understand, something we can prepare for, something we can handle. It comes with the territory when you're an investor.
But stocks going down just because everything else is going down and it's dragging our stocks down with them? Unfair.
Be that as it may, there may at least be some comfort to be taken in knowing that there's nothing actually wrong with your stocks today. It's the whole entire stock market that's broken -- and not just the companies that you own.