Today's 3 Worst Stocks

For a third straight day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs, with the S&P 500 Index also posting gains. Good news from the labor markets, which saw fewer people filing for unemployment benefits than expected, combined with good numbers from Federal Reserve bank stress tests, drove markets higher. Unfortunately, three companies in the S&P had a particularly rough time today.

Retailer Ross Stores disclosed some nasty numbers today, and slid 7.5%, to finish the day as the worst-performing S&P component. Same-store sales figures for February declined 1%, when investors were looking for a 1.1% increase. Even though the CEO deflected blame for the miss by invoking delayed tax refunds as the cause, the fact that the health of the company is so dependent on prompt tax refunds for success is worrisome. Ross will have a chance to redeem itself at its next quarterly earnings announcement two weeks from today.

Data solutions company Teradata took a heavy hit today, as well, as shares lost 3.1% after an analyst tempered expectations for the stock. By issuing a $70 price target and a neutral rating, the UBS announcement continues a trend of diminishing outlooks by Wall Street analysts: Barclays has twice decreased its target price for Teradata this year alone, going from a $85 target to a $73 price target in a month's time.

Telecom services company CenturyLink lost 1.5%, a slide entirely explicable due to the fact that shareholders on record as of yesterday's close are entitled to the quarterly dividend payment. At a 6.2% annual clip, that quarterly dividend comes out to $0.54 per share. Not surprisingly, the stock fell $0.53 today, as investors in the stock for the next dividend payment can sell the stock and still receive the payout.

The amount of data we store every year is growing by a mind-boggling 60% annually! To make sense of this trend and pick out a winner, The Motley Fool has compiled a new report called, "The Only Stock You Need to Profit From the NEW Technology Revolution." The report highlights a company that has gained 300% since first recommended by Fool analysts, but still has plenty of room left to run. To get instant access to the name of this company transforming the IT industry, click here -- it's free.

The article Today's 3 Worst Stocks originally appeared on

Fool contributor John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.The Motley Fool recommends Teradata. 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.