The markets continued their upward march this week, adding to the already substantial gains for 2012. Greece was no help, as a debt agreement that would unlock the next round of bailout funding and let the country sidestep a messy default proved elusive. The economic news in the United States was a bit more optimistic, as multiple manufacturing surveys surprised economists on the upside, while unemployment claims continued to fall. In addition, minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent rate-setting meeting stoked expectations of further bond buying by the central bank.
By the time the week closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The 3 Worst-Performing Sectors
|Russell 3000 Sector||Weekly Price Change||Month-to-Date Price Change|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Feb. 10-Feb. 17. Monthly price change is Jan. 31-Feb. 17.
It's still earnings season, and some of the biggest losers over the past week were whacked thanks to lackluster quarterly reports. The top line for DG(R)
Meanwhile, property-management software maker RealPage
The 3 Worst-Performing Russell 3000 Companies
|Company||Weekly Price Change|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Feb. 10-Feb. 17. Includes only companies with market caps of $250 million or more.
Also among the week's worst performers were MEMC Electronic Materials
For Vonage, the closely watched earnings-per-share number looked good on an absolute basis. After adjustments, it reported $0.10 in per-share profits, up from $0.06 in the prior year. That was good, but not quite good enough, as analysts were hoping for $0.11. Looking more broadly, though, the results paint a pretty uninspiring picture, with both revenue and EBITDA -- a cash-flow measure -- down slightly from a year ago. For the year ahead, the company expects to post EBITDA of between $120 million and $140 million. Though S&P Capital IQ only listed one analyst with an estimate on that metric, that analyst's expectation was for a considerably higher $161 million. Investors shaved 20% off of Vonage's value during the week.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.