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Why Lowe's, Mondelez International, and National Oilwell Varco Slumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – Feb 3, 2016 at 5:23PM

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Even though the stock market managed to climb back from big losses, these stocks missed out. Find out why.

Image: Lowe's.

The stock market took investors on a roller-coaster ride on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrials falling triple digits to move briefly below 16,000 early in the day before recovering to a 183-point gain. Oil prices rebounded from yesterday's drop, and the growing belief that the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates again for a while led to a big drop in the U.S. dollar. Even in the late-day move upward, many stocks get left behind, and among the poorer performers were Lowe's (LOW 3.85%), Mondelez International (MDLZ 2.11%), and National Oilwell Varco (NOV 5.32%).

Lowe's dropped 6% after the home-improvement retailer said that it would buy Canadian counterpart Rona in a deal worth $2.3 billion. The bid of C$24 per share for Rona is double the closing price of the Canadian hardware company's stock on Tuesday afternoon, leading some Lowe's shareholders to complain that the U.S. home-improvement retailer overpaid for the acquisition. For its part, Lowe's expects to create Canada's leading home-improvement retail chain, but the move created some political problems in Canada, and Lowe's also expects that the money it will use on the purchase will have an impact on its existing stock repurchase program. The move will challenge Lowe's rival Home Depot (HD 3.12%) in Canada, but Home Depot investors didn't seem to be overly worried, and its shares fell just 1% on the day.

Mondelez International also declined 6% in the wake of its fourth-quarter financial report Wednesday morning. The international food giant warned that it expects poor macroeconomic conditions in key regions of the world, especially emerging markets, to weigh on its results in 2016. Mondelez also said that its strategic vision hadn't been entirely successful, as the company is promoting key brands like Oreo at the same time as it also pursues the trend toward healthier snacks. Having the best of both worlds would obviously be an ideal situation for Mondelez, but the company believes it will have to cut back on sales of certain lagging products, and in turn will hold back revenue growth. Particularly poor conditions in Venezuela caused Mondelez to take a sizable one-time charge, and the strong dollar continued to have a double-digit percentage impact on sales. Without a reversal of fortune in key international markets, Mondelez will have trouble rebounding this year.

Finally, National Oilwell Varco fell 9%. Even on a day on which crude oil prices jumped, the oil services giant reported fourth-quarter results that fell short of what investors had expected. The company confirmed what many industry experts have said, noting that the reductions in activity in the oil patch are only getting worse in 2016. Sustained low prices have potentially hit bottom, but it would take a substantial increase in prices from current levels to spur new order activity to help support National Oilwell Varco's financial growth. Until the commodity bear market reverses course, National Oilwell Varco will be hard-pressed to claw back some of its losses in 2015.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends National Oilwell Varco. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Mondelez International, Inc. Stock Quote
Mondelez International, Inc.
$55.98 (2.11%) $1.16
National Oilwell Varco, Inc. Stock Quote
National Oilwell Varco, Inc.
$17.04 (5.32%) $0.86
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Stock Quote
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
$195.04 (3.85%) $7.24
The Home Depot, Inc. Stock Quote
The Home Depot, Inc.
$284.54 (3.12%) $8.60

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

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