Investors dodged a bullet -- for now. The week ended with a holiday for the markets, but the government went ahead and announced some pretty lackluster March employment numbers on Friday. Thanks to a small trading window, S&P 500 futures showed that we're probably in line for a drop of more than 1% on Monday. But let's not count our chickens before they've been pastel-painted like Easter eggs -- after all, investors have a three-day weekend to temper their pessimism.
By the close of trading on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The week's biggest losers
It's not quite earnings season, but some companies are getting ahead of the game to get investors excited about better-than-expected numbers or, as in the case of Parametric Technology
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The 3 Worst-Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is March 30-April 5. Includes only companies with market caps of $250 million or more.
Also among the week's worst performers were First Solar
The bedraggled First Solar continued to struggle this week as investors continued backing away from the one-time solar darling. On Tuesday, my fellow Fool Alyce Lomax reveled in her decision to cut loose from First Solar, citing GMI Ratings' warning signal on the company that gave it a "very aggressive" accounting risk rating. Meanwhile, the stock got battered toward the back end of the week by a downgrade from JPMorgan Chase, whose Christopher Blansett slashed his target price for the stock from $35 to $20, pointing out that subsidies in for the solar industry "show no signs of stabilization."
And speaking of accounting headaches, there's Groupon. The daily deal hotshot was taken down a few notches by investors following the company's earnings revision and its auditors' view that the company has a "material weakness" in its internal controls. In the wake of Groupon's quake, Fool Amanda Alix mused on the company's trouble with math, while Tim Beyers suggested that there may be an even bigger weakness at Groupon that investors are still overlooking.
By the time the dust settled, First Solar had dimmed by 16% for the week, while Groupon was marked down to the tune of 23%.
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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.