Stocks are having a more-than-solid year, but plenty of the biggest and best-known names aren’t joining in the fun. The Dow Jones Industrial Industrial Average — that bastion of blue chip stocks — has actually been a disappointment in 2014.
Sure, the Dow crossed 17,000 for the first time in history recently, but it’s up just 3.4% on a price basis so far this year. That lags the S&P 500’s own gain of 7.2% by a wide enough margin to get a professional money manager fired.
That weakness extends past the Dow’s rarefied group of blue chip stocks. Heck, plenty of blue chip stocks not in the Dow are having a bad 2014. Indeed, some of the market’s best-known names that were last year’s market darlings aren’t just lagging this year — they’re delivering serious losses.
True, any time a stock goes through a period of outsized returns, it gets primed to take its share of disproportionate selling at some point. It’s not unusual for last year’s leaders to be this year’s laggards — and vice versa — blue chips or not.
It’s also the case that the market has a defensive bent this year, led by sectors such as utilities and healthcare. Hey, some blue chip stocks are wheezing just because they’re in the wrong sector for this part of the market cycle.
But some blue chip stocks really stand out for terrible performance this year — especially after the gains they put up in 2013. Here’s a look at three blue chip stocks missing out on the market party in 2014 — and whether they can hope to bounce back before year’s end: