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.

Wall Street continues to applaud the recently resolved dilemmas that had been staring down Washington for weeks. With the government nearly back in full force, markets haven't needed any pesky economic reports from the government to justify its recent rally. The S&P 500 Index added 11 points Friday, or 0.7%, to end at 1,744, an all-time high.

Despite widespread gains going into the weekend, a number of S&P companies posted heavy losses. Intuitive Surgical ended as one of the aforementioned laggards, shedding 5.7%. Intuitive Surgical, the brains behind the robotic surgical system da Vinci, trades at more than 21 times earnings, but shares may continue to see that number decline on the heels of this most recent quarter. Earnings dropped 14% from the same quarter last year, as hospitals bought fewer da Vinci systems than they did a year ago.

Savings and loan People's United Financial lost 4.6% after reporting a disappointing third quarter of its own Friday. The regional bank reported earnings per share, or EPS, of $0.19 in the quarter, while Wall Street was looking for $0.21 EPS. The bank, which makes most of its money under the traditional commercial banking model -- where the difference between interest earned from loans and interest paid out on deposits pads the bottom line -- isn't growing loans as fast as Wall Street would like. Since People's United Financial doesn't have many other streams of income, that's a problem the bank will need to sort out to get its stock back in order.

Lastly, shares of home improvement retailer Lowe's fell 2.8% Friday. The financial health of Lowe's moving forward is highly dependent on the health of the real estate recovery, which has been comfortably humming along over the past year. Lowe's stock has subsequently jumped 46% over that period. Shareholders should keep an eye to Monday's existing home sales numbers from the National Association of Realtors, which will likely serve as a catalyst for Lowe's stock.

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