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Today's 3 Worst Stocks

By Dan Carroll - Apr 10, 2013 at 7:00PM

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Retail, solar energy, and refining cap today's losers.

No matter the market, there will always be losers -- a few lagging disappointments holding back a Wall Street rally or several big losers leading a bearish day. The S&P 500 (^GSPC -4.04%) had a banner day, picking up more than 1.2% as the markets surged to new all-time highs. Yet even with all the optimism on Wall Street, several notable names held back the index from even greater gains and made investors pull their hair out in frustration. Here are the three worst stocks today that you need to know about. From solar energy to big-box retail, these stocks put a dent on Wall Street's Wednesday.

Stocks hitting the red
Electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY -10.51%) took a hit, with shares falling 3.5%. While this company's future is still very much in question, the stock has made investors happy in 2013: In just three months, Best Buy has reversed much of the losses of the past two years, gaining a ridiculous 117% year to date. Today's drop is as much a breather after that rally as anything else.

In an attempt to revitalize its future, Best Buy recently announced that it will launch Samsung mini-stores within more than 1,400 of its locations. Markets cheered the move -- opening the Samsung-branded showcases are intended to offset the "showrooming" reputation Best Buy has picked up, with customers looking over and investigating products on hand before purchasing them on other online retailers. A success would certainly help Best Buy's fortunes, as its profits dipped 29% in the most recent quarter. Its partnership with Samsung might just be the spark to begin a turnaround, but this stock's explosion in 2013 makes buying in a risky proposition.

Refiner Phillips 66 (PSX -2.25%) didn't have quite as bad a day as Best Buy, but the stock still missed Wall Street's big day as shares fell 1.2%. Phillips' loss was part of a down day for many stocks in the energy sector, but it's hardly a reason for worry. The company is well-positioned to succeed as the Energy Information Administration yesterday raised its forecast for natural gas and WTI crude oil prices for the rest of the year. The sector is moving ahead with natural gas at full throttle. Chevron (CVX -3.43%), which picked up natural gas production  year over year in the first few months of 2013, is one of the leaders in an industry that increased gas production by more than 5% in January and February.

Today's top loser wasn't Phillips or Best Buy, however. With shares down 7.7%, First Solar (FSLR -0.06%) took that award. The stock exploded to the tune of a 46% gain yesterday on the back of its announced acquisition of TetraSun and optimistic earnings outlook. If nothing else, today's drop is a reactionary check to yesterday's gains, but that shouldn't shake your opinion of the stock. What First Solar did yesterday could dramatically improve its future. The company will still need to adapt to TetraSun's silicon solar cell technology as it looks to expand into a new market, but it's a step in a bold, new direction for this company.

Are Best Buy's gains deceiving investors?

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Stocks Mentioned

S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,923.68 (-4.04%) $-165.17
Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
$168.06 (-3.43%) $-5.97
Best Buy Co., Inc. Stock Quote
Best Buy Co., Inc.
$75.62 (-10.51%) $-8.88
First Solar, Inc. Stock Quote
First Solar, Inc.
$65.36 (-0.06%) $0.04
Phillips 66 Stock Quote
Phillips 66
$95.52 (-2.25%) $-2.20

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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