Today's 3 Worst Stocks


Wall Street rode stocks higher today on the heels of bullish economic data: Consumer confidence reached multiyear highs while housing prices advanced at paces not seen since 2006. The encouraging news was enough to drive the S&P 500 Index 10 points, or 0.6%, higher, to close at 1,660. But despite the confluence of reassuring numbers emerging today, these three S&P stocks still had a rough go of it.

Diversified utilities giant Exelon saw the steepest losses in the index, slumping 7.5% after the stock was downgraded from a buy to a hold rating by Deutsche Bank. The bank's analyst cited low energy prices three and four years out from now as harmful to Exelon's prospects. He also noted that while less coal production may raise energy prices, the emergence of new power supplies would offset those gains.

Of course, Exelon isn't the only utilities company that stands to be hit by the changes ahead in energy markets. FirstEnergy ended as the second-largest decliner, falling 6.5% on similar concerns as the stock was downgraded by Credit Suisse from outperform to neutral. The utilities sector was the lone major sector of the market to slip today, so it's not shocking to see two of the day's largest laggards originating from that area.

The last of the day's stragglers, Netflix shares lost 6.4% Tuesday. The stock was driven lower by concerned shareholders worrying about lukewarm critical reviews of Netflix's Arrested Development series. The comedic series -- which enjoys a cult following -- was reprised by the streaming service for a fourth season a full seven years after Fox originally canceled the show. The entire season was released at once on Sunday, and investors hope it will draw hundreds of thousands of new subscribers to the site.

As the nation moves increasingly toward clean energy, Exelon is perfectly positioned to capitalize on having the largest nuclear fleet in North America. This strength, combined with an increased focus on balance sheet health and its recent merger with Constellation, places Exelon and its resized dividend on a shortlist of the top utilities. To determine if Exelon is a good long-term fit for your portfolio, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company. Simply click here now for instant access.

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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 Exelon. It recommends and owns shares of Netflix. 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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