The Buzz

All markets and investing news all the time

Boo! These five stocks are scary

October 31, 2014: 7:00 AM ET
Good grief, Charlie Brown! Those are some of the worst stocks of the year! Lucy probably got Apple and Facebook.

Good grief, Charlie Brown! Those are some of the worst stocks of the year! Lucy probably got Apple and Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

It's trick or treat time ... Wall Street style!

I usually use Halloween as an excuse to take a look at the year's best and worst stocks. I already wrote about Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) on Thursday. It's a treat if you have it in your portfolio.

Related: Keurig stock is on a caffeine high

But Halloween is about being scared out of your wits. So it's much more fitting to look at the worst stocks, the ones with terrifying year-to-date charts.

Unsurprisingly, several of this year's biggest losers are oil drillers.

With crude prices tumbling, that's bad news for companies like Transocean (RIG), Noble (NE), Diamond Offshore (DO) and Ensco (ESV).

Each stock has fallen at least 30% ... which makes them among the 10 worst performers in the S&P 500 this year.

But there are some more well-known brand-name stocks that should have you screaming as if you were Jamie Lee Curtis fleeing Michael Myers. Here are five.

1. Ding-dong! If you see a trick-or-treater dressed like an Avon Lady, slam the door. Heck, that's what most people are doing.

Avon (AVP) is the worst stock in the S&P 500 this year, down more than 40%. The cosmetics company reported its latest results Thursday and they were grim. Sales fell 8%, missing forecasts.

2. Papa's got a brand new bag ... and it ain't from Coach. Coach (COH) is struggling to turn itself around. The handbag maker said earlier this week that sales fell 10% in the third quarter.

Related: Can British designer Stuart Vevers save Coach?

Consumers may still be hellbent for leather ... but they're buying it elsewhere. Competition from Michael Kors (KORS) and Kate Spade (KATE) has been brutal. Their stocks have taken a tumble this year too, but Coach has been hit the hardest.

3. The misfit toy stock. Sorry to any fans of Scandinavian group Aqua, but we're not living in a Barbie world anymore.

Mattel (MAT) shares have plunged this year along with Barbie sales. But it's not as if parents have stopped buying toys for their kids. Shares of Hasbro (HAS) are near an all-time high. Simply put, Hasbro has cooler toys that boys and girls want: NERF, My Little Pony, Star Wars and Transformers.

Related: Disney princesses ditch Mattel for Hasbro

And it's going to get worse for Mattel (and better for Hasbro) soon. Mattel, currently the rights owner for toys tied to Disney's (DIS) Princess line of characters, is losing that deal to Hasbro in 2016  ... and that includes Elsa and Anna from "Frozen." Investors that haven't already done so may want to let Mattel go.

4. Rotten produce. Eating organic food is good for you. Investing in the company that made it popular for the masses? Not so much. Whole Foods (WFM) is a classic victim of its own success.

The stock has tumbled following numerous sales and earnings warnings. And the culprit is competition from more mainstream retailers like Kroger (KR) and Wal-Mart (WMT).

Related: Can Whole Foods turn itself around?

Whole Foods has acknowledged that it has to worry more about other retailers selling kale and quinoa for lower prices.

5. Put down the corporate credit card, Jeff! Amazon (AMZN) is a company that could be doing better. But CEO Jeff Bezos has chosen to sacrifice current profits in order to build for the future.

It's a strategy that has worked in the past. But investors are nervous that Bezos may be losing his Midas touch. The Fire Phone has been a failure. And losses are mounting as the company invests heavily in its cloud business.

Related: Jeff Bezos is the Grinch that stole Amazon's Christmas

Add in the fact that Amazon issued a less-than-stellar sales outlook for the fourth quarter and it's no wonder that the stock is one of the worst performers in CNNMoney's Tech 30 index this year.

Now it's worth noting that this year's tricks could be next year's treats. Edwards Lifesciences (EW), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) and CenturyLink (CTL) have all bounced back sharply this year after a lousy 2013. But you have to do your homework.

Diamond Offshore was a loser last year. And last year's biggest S&P 500 laggard, Newmont Mining (NEM) is down again in 2014. Some dogs remain pooches.

Reader Comment of the Week! The Federal Reserve finally ended its quantitative easing program this week.

I tweeted about how well stocks have done since the bond purchases started. I'm glad that somebody caught my reference to a 1980s public service announcement.

So if QE is the egg, then are rate hikes the chicken? Because the egg came first, right? Or is it the other way around? Oh no.

Anyway, happy Halloween. Happy end of October. Here's hoping next month is less stormy for stocks. We don't want any cold November rain. Yup. I'm going there. Enjoy the next nine minutes of cheesy power ballad rock at its finest.

  • Apple who? Microsoft, Intel rule Dow

    Who says PCs are dinosaurs? Intel and Microsoft are the top stocks in the Dow this year.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    PCs aren't dead yet. Sure, you're probably reading this on a phone or tablet. Maybe you'll one MORE

    - Sep 11, 2014 12:20 PM ET
  • How to stay safe in a scary market

    The market is a risky bet. But you can have a winning hand in your portfolio with blue chip, dividend-paying stocks.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    Remember how stocks did nothing but go up all the time? That's so MORE

    - Aug 7, 2014 12:29 PM ET
  • Boring bonds beat sexy stocks. Here's why

    Stocks are for those who like risk while bonds offer stability. But that hasn't been the case so far this year.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    Bonds are supposed to be for conservative investors who are not willing to MORE

    - Jul 31, 2014 1:39 PM ET
  • GM is eating Ford's dust

    Ford shares are doing much better than GM's this year. That trend is likely to continue.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    Corvette or Mustang? Silverado or F150? Cadillac or Lincoln?

    Auto enthusiasts can debate whether GM or Ford makes better MORE

    - Jul 24, 2014 1:57 PM ET
  • The 4 biggest mistakes investors are making

    Investors tend to put money into what's worked in the past. That's not a great strategy for the future.

    Everyone wants to know when the stock market is going to tank -- and how high it's going to go just before it does. It would make getting rich a lot easier.

    Even Wall Street experts don't know exactly what's ahead in the short run. But what they do know MORE

    - Jul 24, 2014 7:38 AM ET
  • 5 reasons why the market won't crash

    Market bears point to many reasons why stocks should plunge. But the bulls have knocked them down one by one.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    There has been a lot of talk about how this bull market is starting MORE

    - Jul 22, 2014 1:23 PM ET
  • Where's the drama on Wall Street?

    Hold! The S&P 500 has closed less than 1% higher or lower in the past 47 trading days, the longest streak since 1995.

    The Dow may have fallen more than 100 points on Tuesday, but don't let that minor selloff fool you. The stock market is enjoying its longest stretch of calm since Mel Gibson battled the Brits as William Wallace in the blockbuster film "Braveheart."

    During the turbulent days MORE

    - Jun 25, 2014 12:30 PM ET
  • Amazon stock: Look out below?

    Amazon's stock has fallen faster than a package from a drone this year. Will the new Fire Phone change that?

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    Amazon was the anti-Apple ... for one day at least. Amazon unveiled a new MORE

    - Jun 19, 2014 1:53 PM ET
  • The most important stock in the Dow is ...

    Caterpillar does well when the global economy is humming along. The stock has surged this year. That's great news.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    Stocks have pulled back a bit from their all-time highs lately.  It makes sense. The MORE

    - Jun 12, 2014 1:18 PM ET
Fear & Greed
Sponsored by

To view my watchlist

Not a member yet?

Sign up now for a free account
Stupid Stock Move of the Day
#StupidStock Move of the Day! Yes, Urban Outfitters may be finally turnings things around. But $URBN up 17%? Seems a bit excessive, no?
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
 
Powered by WordPress.com VIP.