Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Today's 3 Worst Stocks

By John Divine - Apr 23, 2013 at 7:19PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Bizarre drops, debt-laden corporations, and disappointing forecasts burden today's three laggards.

Surprisingly strong corporate earnings, combined with a jump in home sales during March, sent the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC 2.47%) to its third straight day of gains. A brief panic caused by a fake tweet from the Associated Press roiled markets around lunchtime, but within minutes the tweet was exposed as the work of a hacker. Thankfully, claims that there was an explosion at the White House were patently false, and the S&P ended more than 1% higher, at 1578. But even the bullish sentiment of the day couldn't rally these three S&P components.

While rapid swings and unexpected news is par for the course on Wall Street, logic can be a little harder to find. Such was the case on Tuesday for shares of office supplies retailer Staples (SPLS), which slipped 4.5% on virtually no material news. The drop could be due to algorithm-based technical trading, as shares just crossed below their 200-day moving averages (apparently that's bad). With so little to substantiate today's weak performance, shareholders should take Tuesday's slip with a grain of salt. 

If you're a Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF 4.73%) investor, however, you may want to take a closer look at the company and its direction. Shares lost 1.9% today after the stock suffered a price target decrease at the hands of FBR Capital yesterday. A $2.5 billion company with $2.1 billion in debt on the books, Cliffs needs to start ponying up to its creditors before its shareholders can expect handsome rewards of their own.

Lastly, document management powerhouse Xerox (XRX) shed 1.9% on Tuesday after reporting earnings. While revenues were down slightly from a year ago, profits increased from $269 million to $296 million. Not bad, actually. But the real hit to the stock came from the company's forecasts. Headwinds in the document technology area have Xerox looking for earnings per share between $0.19 and $0.21 this quarter, a far cry from the $0.26 figure analysts expected.

 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,158.24 (2.47%) $100.40
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Stock Quote
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
CLF
$24.57 (4.73%) $1.11
Staples, Inc. Stock Quote
Staples, Inc.
SPLS
Xerox Corporation Stock Quote
Xerox Corporation
XRX

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

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
356%
 
S&P 500 Returns
124%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.