The Exchange

Gold Giant Joins Top Stocks as Prices Plunge

The Exchange

Editors Note: The list of top stocks is derived from the quote pages that received the most views on Yahoo! Finance by examining data for the current week. It is not, however, a list of the most searched-for tickers or company names on our site.

1. Apple (AAPL)

Apple’s fall from grace accelerated yet again this week as more evidence of waning demand surfaced.

Shares of Apple dipped below $400 for the first time since December 2011 on Wednesday after supplier Cirrus Logic warned about first-quarter revenue. Analysts extrapolated that the warning was directly tied to slowing demand of apple products.

With popularity seemingly on the decline and still no new revolutionary products in sight, there was nothing to keep shares above the psychological $400 level.

“The Apple of old had both substance and sizzle,” said Breakout’s Jeff Macke. “Today, Apple is just an old company with great cash flow.”

Gene Munster, senior analyst at Piper Jaffray, believes we’re likely to start seeing some more signs of life from Apple. He noted that the company spends $5 billion a year on R&D. The results of that investment have yet to be seen, but could be coming.

“It’s safe to say from this summer through the summer of 2014 you’re going to see a lot faster product cycles and some more exciting products that ultimately are going to get the stock moving in the right direction again,” said Munster.

Shares of Apple have shed 8.4% over the last five full trading days, closing at $390.53 on Friday. Shares are down 28.9% for the year-to-date.

2. Bank of America (BAC)

The nation’s second-largest bank reported lower-than-expected earnings results for the first quarter on Wednesday, triggering a slide that brought the financial sector down with it.

Revenues fell across the board, sliding 8.4% to $23.85 billion for the quarter. Despite a sizable jump in earnings, concerns centered around declining revenue in core businesses.

“The results suggest that Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide Financial at the height of the housing crisis is still haunting the bank even though [CEO Brian Moynihan] has said the end is in sight,” noted Reuters.

On the plus side, the bank’s Countrywide unit settled a class action lawsuit it faced over junk mortgage-backed securities. The suit sought damages of more than $351 billion, but was settled for $500 million.

Shares have fallen 3.9% over the last five full trading days, closing at $11.66 on Friday. Shares are down 3% for the year to date.

3. Intel (INTC)

Intel reported mixed earnings on Tuesday, slightly missing estimates. Earnings fell to $2.04 billion, or 40 cents a shares, from $2.74 billion, or 55 cents a share in the same period a year ago. Revenue fell to $12.58 billion from $12.91 billion.

However, slowing demand for personal computers seems to be of greater concern to analysts and investors. Management said it expected revenue to decline up to 8% in the second quarter stemming from a 14% plunge in PC sales during the first quarter.

Shares of Intel have gained 3.9% over the last five full trading days, closing at $22.44 on Friday. Shares are up 4.9% for the year to date.

4. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

The world’s third-largest exchange-traded fund has been hammered along with the price of gold over the past two weeks.

According to Bloomberg, gold’s plunge started on April 2 as the dollar started to make gains. The fall gained momentum on growing speculation that the Fed could end quantitative easing. Goldman Sachs further pressured prices when it came out with a sell rating on the precious metal, and reports of a slowing Chinese economy opened the flood gates.

“An unexpected slowdown in China’s economic expansion sparked a commodity selloff that sent gold to the biggest plunge in 33 years on April 15," said a Bloomberg report. "Trading volume in the SPDR Gold Trust soared to a record 93.8 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

(Click here for Bloomberg's timeline of major gold price moves since 1980)

Shares of the ETF have fallen 0.7% over the last five full trading days, closing at $135.47 on Friday. Shares are down 17.% for the year to date.

5. Nokia (NOK)

The latest round of quarterly results from Nokia raised questions about the stability of the company’s core customer and the fate of its CEO.

While the company saw a nice sales uptick in its Lumia smartphones, its core mobile phone shipments fell a whopping 21%. Analysts had expected to see only an 8% decline.

“[Chief Executive Stephen Elop] made the controversial decision to switch to Microsoft's untried Windows Phone software in early 2011 and had said the transition would take two years, a period that's now over,” noted Reuters. “Analysts said he was running out of time.”

Shares of Nokia closed at $3.07 on Friday, down 10% over the last five full trading days. Shares are down 25.3% for the year.

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