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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