Oil & Gas, Apparel, Pharma Vying for S&P 500’s Worst Group of 2019

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The stock market has experienced yet another 5% correction after hitting all-time highs just in July. What really stands out for 2019, particularly if you just followed the emotions of the daily news flow, is that the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 were still up with double-digit percentage gains year to date.

Investors need to remember that “the market” is really a market of stocks, and some sectors and companies have performed absolutely horribly despite 2019 still being a strong year and despite this bull market now being over 10 years old.

24/7 Wall St. has evaluated the biggest losers of the S&P 500, and the theme among the market’s top losers looks fairly consistent. Energy stocks tied to oil and gas, retail and designers tied to apparel and accessories, and drug companies are all facing a horrendous year.

It turns out that of the 40 worst performers in the S&P 500 so far in 2019, there are 11 tied to oil and gas, 10 tied mostly to retailing of apparel and accessories, and six tied to pharmaceuticals and biotech. That is 27 of the 40 worst performers tied to these three industries.

A lot of this will seem self-explanatory. In apparel and retail, the online world of selling is back at crushing companies, with tariffs and retail weakness playing their role. In oil and gas, the market is simply turning its back on the sector while oil has entered yet another bear market and as ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing takes ever more attention. And in biotech and pharma, both sides of the political aisle want to bring down drug prices at the same time that opioid exposure is hurting them.

The chart below should pretty much show all the carnage, with returns over the past month and year to date. On top of these as the worst drops of the S&P 500 year to date, it looked like only two of these worst 2019 performers were actually showing positive gains over the past 30-day period.

Energy/Oil & Gas Month YTD
Southwestern Energy (SWN) −33.45% −44.57%
Diamond Offshore (DO) −30.88% −34.32%
Concho Resources (CXO) −32.18% −33.85%
Cimarex Energy (XEC) −23.80% −29.38%
Halliburton (HAL) −16.63% −26.07%
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) −7.28% −25.06%
Cabot Oil & Gas (COG) −27.04% −21.88%
National Oilwell Varco (NOV) −4.32% −19.88%
Marathon Petroleum (MPC) −11.91% −18.44%
Apache (APA) −18.40% −16.23%
Marathon Oil (MRO) −11.00% −15.97%
Retail/Apparel Month YTD
Nordstrom (JWN) −2.49% −35.31%
Fossil (FOSL) −4.32% −33.88%
Urban Outfitters (URBN) −5.97% −33.55%
Macy’s (M) −3.72% −31.36%
The Gap (GPS) −0.72% −30.71%
Macerich (MAC) −7.74% −28.17%
Foot Locker (FL) −2.13% −24.14%
Kohl’s (KSS) 5.88% −23.79%
Tapestry (TPR) −4.93% −16.50%
PVH (PVH) −13.56% −16.23%
Health/Pharma Month YTD
Abiomed (ABMD) −26.00% −41.50%
Mylan (MYL) −5.70% −32.50%
AbbVie (ABBV) −9.50% −30.00%
Biogen (BIIB) 1.40% −21.00%
Regeneron (REGN) −1.80% −19.10%
Pfizer (PFE) −15.60% −16.20%


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