The Worst Stocks Of The Week (SVU, WMT, MRK, VZ, S, T, AAPL)

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S&P 500 WEEK: BOTTOM 10 (07 JAN-13 JAN) Ticker Weekly Price Change (%) Close Price 13Jan11 Close Price 07Jan11 Market Cap($Mil)
SUPERVALU INC. SVU -13.4 7.50 8.66 1591.3
Merck & Co Inc. MRK -7.1 34.69 37.35 106875.8
RadioShack Corp RSH -6.6 17.14 18.36 1951.0
American International Group Inc AIG -6.5 57.19 61.18 38439.6
Advanced Micro Devices Inc AMD -6.5 8.26 8.83 5631.4
Monster Worldwide Inc. MWW -6.2 23.51 25.07 3057.1
Washington Post Co WPO -4.8 421.30 442.56 3035.9
Omnicom Group Inc. OMC -4.6 44.84 47.00 13507.6
Sprint Nextel Corp S -4.3 4.48 4.68 13225.2
Intuit Inc. INTU -4.2 46.36 48.39 14399.9

Source: Capital IQ

Shares of grocery store giant Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) collapsed as the firm’s earnings were well below expectations. High commodities prices and competition from big box retailers such as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) have finally caught up to Supervalu. The problems are not going to go away. The prices of agricultural products from corn to soy beans have reached all time highs. Supervalu is not going to be able to pass all of those costs of goods on to its customers.

Merck (NYSE: MRK) shares fell as it joined other large pharmaceutical companies which have been unable to replace their aging blockbuster drugs with new ones. Trials for anticlotting drup vorapaxar did not show promising results. Merck believed vorapaxar would eventually have annual sales of $5 billion. Now,  vorapaxar may never produce any revenue at all. According to Bloomberg, “All participants will stop taking the drug in the trial of 13,000 patients who began the medicine at the time of a heart attack or chest pain, researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina, said today. A second study, of 26,500 patients with prior heart problems, will be stopped for the 25 percent who had suffered a stroke.”

Sprint-Nextel (NYSE: S) shares dropped over 4% for the week. It has occurred to investors now that the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone will be sold by Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint subscribers will continue to migrate to competitors to get the superphone. Sprint’s WiMax 4G service is about to be challenged by LTE technology from AT&T and Verizon. Sprint has been painted into a corner.

Douglas A. McIntyre