After a long streak of weekly gains, the major U.S. indexes fell this week as investors re-evaluated just how long they'd let stocks rise before cashing in some of those gains. Contributing to the pessimism during the week were lackluster economic reports out of China, leading investors to wonder whether growth for that global powerhouse may be slowing faster than expected. On the other hand, leading economic indicators in the U.S. rose faster than anticipated, while initial jobless claims fell more than expected.
By the time the dust had settled on Friday, 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 March 16-March 23. Monthly price change is Feb. 29-March 23.
Aptly named fuel-cell maker FuelCell Energy
The company told investors that it plans to use the new capital for "growth capital and general corporate purposes." For a cash-flow negative company like FuelCell, the rough corporate-speak translation there is, "We're using this money to keep the lights on."
In a much more established but badly struggling industry, KB Home
The 3 Worst-Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is March 16-March 23. Includes only companies with market caps of $250 million or more.
Also among the week's worst performers were Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Krispy Kreme's stock gave investors a bellyache when earnings results were apparently not nearly sweet enough for them. The results of the doughnut maker's fourth quarter appeared positive -- revenue rose 11% from the previous year, while adjusted earnings per share of $0.06 matched analysts' estimates. Even better, the company forecasted full-year results above Wall Street's expectations. Investors were obviously hungry for even more, though, as they knocked shares down 12% for the week.
For First Solar, the week's disappointment came as new U.S. government tariffs on Chinese solar imports weren't as high as expected. For U.S. solar companies such as First Solar and SunPower, the concern is that the tariff of 2.9% to 4.73% wouldn't have the impact that investors had hoped for. However, as my fellow Fool Travis Hoium pointed out, more tariffs are still on the way, and furthermore, tariffs may not have much of an impact on the industry anyway. Nevertheless, First Solar shed 10% on 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.