Stocks ended sideways Wednesday after Federal Reserve minutes from the June policy meeting failed to bring anything groundbreaking to attention. Top members of the central bank seem to be at odds with one another about when to curb the $85 billion monthly bond-buying program; some think an immediate pullback is needed, while others think the economy should prove its stability first. The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) yawned at the release and traded roughly even, adding just 0.3 points, or -- if we're rounding -- 0%. Still, three S&P components managed to find ways to struggle big time.
In this respect, drilling contractor Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) was a standout, losing 6.3% Wednesday. The company gave a heads-up to investors today, warning that second-quarter results would probably disappoint. Considering that those results come out in less than two weeks, Wall Street took the company at its word, and Goldman Sachs took the stock off its Conviction Buy list.
Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) shares have the ominous distinction today of posting back-to-back horrendous days, after showing up on this very list yesterday. Stock in the memory-chip maker shed 4.5% today, after Gartner reported a continuation of declining PC sales in the second quarter. The nearly 11% fall in global shipments makes for a fifth straight quarter of falling personal-computer sales, the worst streak the industry has ever seen.
Lastly, oil refiner Tesoro (NYSE:ANDV) slumped 4.5%, one of three refiners among the S&P's 10 worst stocks Wednesday. Today's warning from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, that oil supply probably won't keep up with demand in the coming year is bad news for refineries, which may not be able to run at full capacity with dwindling supply. Middle East tensions, with Egypt's volatile political situation in the foreground, threaten to stem global production.
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