If the first few months of the year were a party, this week was a reminder that the stock market can still dole out some pain. Though headlines at the beginning of the week talked about a market "plunge," the drop for the week really wasn't all that bad. Even so, if Alcoa's estimate-topping earnings report hadn't helped pull the market back up for a couple of days, the bloodletting could have been even worse.
By the time the dust had settled on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The week's big losers
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration threw a bucket of cold water on ViroPharma's
The 3 Worst-Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is April 6-April 13. Includes only companies with market caps of $250 million or more.
Also among the week's worst performers were Idenix Pharmaceuticals
For a drug developer like Idenix, any signs that a key drug will have a tougher time than expected making its way to market are bound to shake up investors. In Indenix's case, it appears that investors are continuing to back away a week after an analyst from Brean Murray shared a pessimistic view on the future of Idenix's hepatitis-C treatment, IDX184. Not that any of this was particularly surprising to some Fools.
Like Idenix, Swisher's stock stayed on a downward trend this past week as investors continued to distance themselves from the company after it revealed an internal financial review and said past financials would have to be restated. While there may not have been huge new bombshells this week, the ugliness of the situation was kept front and center for investors as a wave of lawsuits rolled in and the company said that because of the investigation it won't file its 10-K by the extended due date and, as a result, will fall out of compliance with the stock exchanges that list it. My take? I like boring, dirty businesses like bathroom sanitation as an investment, but given the way Swisher has been managed, I'm staying far, far away.
At week's end, Idenix had slid nearly 14%, while Swisher had 15% hacked off of its share price.
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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.