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The Six Worst S&P 500 Stocks of 2013

The S&P 500 Index has been challenging all-time highs yet again this week. Once the government got out of the way in Washington D.C. things got back on track. 2013 is turning out to be a great year for the stock market with gains of a whopping 22.4% year-to-date. Unfortunately, not all ships have risen with the rising tide of the market.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the stocks of the S&P 500 to identify the worst performing stocks of the year. We recently featured the Best of the DJIA and the Worst of the DJIA so far in 2013, but these worst stocks of the S&P 500 make those DJIA losers look like wonderful successes. The six worst S&P 500 stocks were all down 25% or more coming into Thursday. One loser, which you will know well, is down a sharp 64% so far in 2013.

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We have included the performance of each, basic trading data, and added color on each. Estimates are taken from Thomson Reuters if used. Performance metrics were provided by a Finviz.com screen.

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) screens out as the worst performer of the entire S&P 500. This seems of little surprise given the implosion and meltdown of its business. Shares are now down under $7 against a 52-week range of $6.24 to $25.78. Some now are questioning its ability to survive. Declining sales and losses are persisting and expected to continue. This is beyond needing a turnaround. This needs a miracle.

Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM) is the second worst performing stock of the S&P 500. Gold has been hit hard, yet gold miners have been treated as though gold was going to start selling for the price of silver. Shares were down over 39% going into Thursday on a year-to-date basis. Unfortunately, the stock is down almost 50% over the last year. At $27.85, the 52-week trading range is $25.33 to $54.96. Imagine if more dividend cuts keep coming here, or even worse... if gold drops under $1,000 for some reason.

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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) has suffered handily with the ore mining and coal plays, but it is leading the index as the S&P 500's third worst stock of 2013. Its shares were down more than 38% coming into Thursday and this is actually down over 45% over the last year. The only saving grace here is that shares have actually risen more than 20% in the last quarter. At $23.50, the 52-week trading range is $15.41 to $44.67. Be advised that shares have risen back above the consensus analyst price target of $22.00 and earnings are expected to remain in decline in 2013 and 2014.

Teradata Corporation (TDC) is fairly new to the list of the worst performing stocks in the S&P 500 due to its recent reaction to earnings. The provider of Big Data solutions saw its stock fall from $52.58 down to $42.91 in mid-October when it disappointed on earnings. Its shares were down by 29.8% year to date and were down 39.9% over the last year coming into Thursday. At around $45, its 52-week range is $41.11 to $70.76. We would caution that the consensus price target of $60 may not reflect the real weakness here.

Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) is merely another battered coal giant, and it ranks fifth in the worst S&P 500 stocks so far in 2013. Shares were down 27.2% coming into Thursday but we would note that a snap back rally helped out because the gain over the last quarter has been more than 15%. With shares at $19.12, the 52-week range is $14.34 to $29.84 and the consensus price target from analysts is $23.91. We recently suggested that coal might be a decent investment again and we will have to see if the sector valuations will allow that to be true.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) was the sixth worst S&P 500 stock with a loss of 25% year to date coming into Thursday. At $36.10, the 52-week range is $30.06 to $55.23 and the consensus price target is almost $43. Unfortunately, this is a reminder that apparel companies can quickly lose their "coolness factor" and a reminder that apparel retailers run the risk that they are new companies two or three times each year. Wall Street doesn't care if the Midtown NYC store has a waiting line full of foreign shoppers waiting to get inside the door. We have pondered before whether or not this company needs to break itself up to unlock value.

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