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.

Most people probably think of Wall Street as a horde of serious, well-dressed financial types whose only emotion is anger and whose only motivation is greed. While I'm afraid I lack additional insight on the subject of motivation, I'm quite certain Wall Street possesses a number of emotions and feelings outside of anger. At one end we have despair, pessimism, and fear; at the other we find euphoria, hope, and confidence. Despite no official congressional solution put forth to end the government shutdown and postpone the debt ceiling, the S&P 500 Index added 6 points, or 0.4%, to end at 1,710, its fourth straight day of gains.

I'll let you decide what Wall Street's feeling today.

If you're an Expedia investor, you may be feeling some form of despair, as stock in the online travel service dropped 6.2% Monday. While I hate to point fingers, I'm inclined to inform you that Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler is probably to blame for your blues. Sandler downgraded the stock from "buy" to "hold," citing stiff competition and changing management at one of Expedia's sites, Adding insult to injury, Sandler went on to maintain a buy rating on two of Expedia's largest competitors, and TripAdvisor. Long-term Expedia investors may also want to experiment with feeling some pride, too, as shares are up more than 340% in the past five years.

Shares in biotech company Alexion shed 1.7% Monday, also ending as one of the S&P 500's worst performers. The company is somewhat of a one-trick pony, as its drug Soliris accounts for the majority of Alexion's profits. It doesn't take a metaphorical equestrian to know that one-trick ponies can make for a bumpy, volatile ride, so investments like this aren't for everyone. There's some notable upside to Alexion if Soliris is approved to treat as many as five additional indications, but at a P/E above 60, much of that upside is accounted for in the price.

Finally, CenturyLink also registers as one of the day's most notable laggards, falling 1.6%. Shares in the telecom services stock may look alluring at first glance, especially for income investors who get a whiff of that mind-numbing 6.5% dividend yield. The problem with high yields, however, is that they tend to be very misleading. They fail to reflect in their raw awesomeness how sustainable they are, and sustainability is key with dividend investing. CenturyLink already had to cut its dividend by 25% this year, which was devastating for the stock price.

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