5 of Last Week's Biggest Losers

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There's never a shortage of losers in the stock market.

Let's take a closer look at five of this past week's biggest sinkers.

Company

Dec. 30Weekly LossMy Watchlist
Sears Holdings (NAS: SHLD) $31.7831%Add
Molycorp (NYS: MCP) $23.9817%Add
Rare Elements Resources (ASE: REE) $3.2516%Add
ZAGG (NAS: ZAGG) $7.0716%Add
LDK Solar (NYS: LDK) $4.1915%Add

Source: Barron's.

Sears Holdings was the market's biggest loser, after the parent company of Sears and Kmart announced lousy holiday comps, the closure of as many as 120 stores, and the need to tap its credit line. That last move is what probably led Standard & Poor's to place the struggling retailer's credit rating on review for a possible downgrade.

Molycorp, Rare Elements Resources, and other rare-earth mineral miners took a hit after China increased its export quota by 3% on the scarce yet essential elements. China's tight grip on supply had kept prices high, but now rare-earth minerals are likely to fall in price through 2012.

ZAGG continues to fall a week after raising -- yes, raising -- its guidance. The maker of accessories for smartphones and tablets is heavily shorted, though bears piling into the profitable company may also be the catalyst for the mother of all short squeezes in 2012.

LDK and other solar-energy players took a hit last week. This has been one of the past year's hardest-hit industries, so seeing scorched investors taking advantage of realizing losses for tax purposes isn't really a surprise. Despite solar energy's high financial cost as an energy source, its prospects remain bright for the future.

It was a rough week for these five stocks. If you want to shake yesterday's losers and ride tomorrow's winners, a new special report reveals The Motley Fool's top stock for 2012. It's free, but only for a limited time, so check it out now.

At the time this article was published Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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