With a key interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve only two days away, traders were content to do very little to get the new trading week going. By the time the closing bell rang, the S&P 500 was only up 0.04% , ending the day at 2,373.47.
Not every stock simply treaded water though. J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP), Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ:FTR) and United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) were all notable losers for understandable reasons.
Here’s the deal.
United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL)
In terms of total adverse impact dished out to the largest number of shareholders, United Continental Holdings was Monday’s biggest loser. But, it had good company just within its industry. Peers and rivals American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) were both deeper in the red today than most any other stocks.
Then again, that was only fair, since United Continental Holdings rang the alarm bell when it reported last month’s traffic.
In February, the airline’s revenue passenger miles fell 0.8% on a year-over-year basis. Capacity fell 0.4% and the company’s load factor slipped from 77% to 76.7%. The small lulls were enough to send UAL shares 3.4% lower.
The airline has been deliberately culling capacity to reflect waning traffic demand.
Frontier Communications Corp (FTR)
Through no fault of its own (other than being unable to buoy the price of FTR shares), telecom player Frontier Communications is to be removed from the S&P 500, replaced by — among other companies — Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD). That, in turn, means all the mutual funds and ETFs built to represent the S&P 500 index are selling or soon will sell their stake in FTR shares.
The good news is, such adverse impacts are generally short-lived. The bad news is, they can be fairly painful in the interim. FTR fell 1.4% on Monday.
Of course, it can’t come as a complete surprise that Frontier Communications is being booted from the large cap index. FTR shares are down more than 80% since 2007, and down more than 70% just since early 2015.
J C Penney Company Inc (JCP)
Finally, struggling retailer JCPenney Company may be creatively trying to rekindle its waning business, but JCP shareholders aren’t impressed by newly unveiled tactic.
On Monday, the company announced it was getting into the “home services” industry, arranging for in-home repair needs that its customers will encounter from time to time. The new venture will address several areas including HVAC, blinds and remodeling.
It is a new revenue source, though in many regards it was viewed by investors as an abdication of the company’s core retailing business. Attention and investment in an area that’s brand new as the expense of its apparel and home goods business may be a step in the wrong direction. JCP shares ended the day down 5.8%.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.