Today's 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

Today's 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

There were a lot of unimpressive performers in the S&P 500 Index today. More than four stocks declined for every issue stubbornly advancing Tuesday, so today's losers can take comfort in the ubiquity of pain on Wall Street. With the White House refusing to negotiate with GOP leadership over amendments to Obamacare, Washington is playing out a tenser version of the 2011 debt-ceiling debacle, and stocks are not reacting in kind. The S&P 500 fell 20 points, or 1.2%, ending at 1,655 today.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals ended as one of the most notable victims of Tuesday's bearishness, shedding 5.3%. Biotech stocks in general were hit heavily in trading, declining a whopping 3.8% as a group today. Alexion, which sells Soliris, a blood disorder drug, was likely just in the wrong business at the wrong time, as they say. That's good news if you believe in the long-term viability of the company, as market groupthink provides a more attractive entry point for investors.

Netflix slumped 5% today, although from a value perspective, shares probably still have some room to fall. Shares are up more than 220% year to date, which in and of itself doesn't mean they're overvalued, but when you take a step back and consider Netflix's 376 P/E, maybe the market has gotten a little manic in its expectations for the video-streaming service. As The Wall Street Journalpointed out in a piece today, a number of momentum stocks were punished Tuesday as short-term hedge fund investors sell out of big winners to cash in on yearly gains.

Lastly, open-source software company Red Hat lost 4.7%, on two times the average daily volume. There's a theme with today's three big losers: All three stocks trade at more than 50 times trailing earnings and don't pay a dividend. Even if a company boasts a quality product -- RedHat, for example, makes an enterprise version of Linux OS -- business plans go out the window for Wall Street as soon as something like a potential U.S. default starts sparking market fears.

So, why exactly is the debt wrecking my portfolio?
The U.S. government has piled on more than $10 trillion of new debt since 2000. Annual deficits topped $1 trillion after the financial crisis. Millions of Americans have asked: What the heck is going on? The Motley Fool's new free report, "Everything You Need to Know About the National Debt," walks you through with step-by-step explanations about how the government spends your money, where it gets tax revenue from, the future of spending, and what a $16 trillion debt means for our future. Click here to read the full report!

The article Today's 3 Worst Stocks in the S&P 500 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 and owns shares of Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.

Originally published