Even as most stocks fell in trading on Friday, the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was able to log a remarkable seventh-straight week of gains. Alas, that was not the case with these three companies today, as a variety of factors combined to send them spiraling downwards to the undesirable depths of the index.
The first most violently spiraling stock of the day was oil and natural gas company Apache (NYSE:APA), which fell 4.3% on the day -- something that's liable to happen when companies report terribly disappointing results. Oddly enough, the energy sector was the only one in the S&P to post losses today. Apache sure did its part in the decline, though, as investors showed their disapproval of management's decision to sell $2 billion in unspecified assets.
Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR), which won't get a chance to potentially disappoint investors until next week, dropped 3.4% on Friday, as the telecom industry faces cash flow problems that threaten to hit income investors. Fellow local telecom CenturyLink just cut its dividend and, with an annual dividend of nearly 9% at current levels, investors are understandably worried that Frontier's payout could take further hits. Citigroup even downgraded the stock yesterday on cash flow concerns.
My, how fickle the market can be. It loves you one day, and hates you the next. Literally, in fact, in the case of First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), which only yesterday was winning like Charlie Sheen in a YouTube rant, earning itself a spot as one of Today's 3 Best Stocks after an analyst upgrade. No such luck today, as the solar module producer fell 2.4% on profit-taking. But with a 1.41 beta, First Solar shares are roughly 40% more volatile than the market, so exaggerated day-to-day swings aren't anything new here.