The market clearly wasn’t lacking fireworks today, although most of them were bearish. Between desperation in China and a surprising voter rejection of greater austerity in Greece — a decision that ultimately could start to push the country out of the euro — stocks simply couldn’t find a decent footing.
When all was said and done, the S&P 500 ended the session at 2,068.76, down 0.4%.
It was even worse for some stocks, like National-Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) and Bunge Ltd (NYSE:BG). These three names were among the worst of the worst for reasons outside the Greece-inspires marketwide malaise.
Agricultural outfit Bunge found itself on the losing side of at least one analyst’s opinion-change today. BMO Capital Markets downgraded BG from an “outperform” to a “market perform,” though it didn’t alter the $94 price target it had previously established for the stock.
Bunge is facing a headwind of falling oil seed prices, spurring the downgrade and the near-4% loss BG took today in the wake of the lowered rating.
National-Oilwell Varco (NOV)
The energy sector as a whole dipped deep into the red ink on Monday, but few U.S. oil names dished out as much pain as National-Oilwell Varco did. All told, NOV fell almost 5%, and did so on abnormally high volume.
The setback was entirely in response to crude oil’s implosion today.
Spurred by a combination of Greece’s rejection of more austerity measures, a potential surge in Iran’s oil exports, and China’s crashing market, oil fell more than 7% to a close near $52.50 per barrel … new multi-week lows. National-Oilwell Varco shares simply followed that lead.
The luster has already worn off the much-ballyhooed union of managed care providers Aetna and Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), and AET shareholders are paying the price for it.
There are actually two things working against AET shares today. The first is the idea that, feeling rushed to partner up before someone else nabbed it, Aetna overpaid with its $37 billion offer for rival Humana, putting itself in a tight fiscal spot. Aetna’s credit rating has already been threatened with a downgrade.
The other stumbling block popped up today when Humana reported that it was cutting its profit view for the full year, from the prior expectation of $8.50 to $9.00 per share to something closer to $7.75.
Unsuspecting holders of AET made the adjustment by lowering the value of Aetna shares nearly 7%.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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