For a while today, it looked like the stock market would be able to dismiss Europe’s financial woes and rebound from its initial decline this morning. But with a brewing banking crisis in Cyprus and investors reacting negatively to news that holders of bank accounts would lose as much as 10% of their deposits, the S&P 500 (S&P Indices:.INX) finished down more than half a percent, falling 8.6 points to close at 1,552.
Within the S&P 500, the worst-performing stocks were all related to the oil and gas industry. Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) fell 5.5% after an SEC filing released information about the company. Even though Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) left its outlook for the current quarter unchanged,its active rig count remains flat and it said that its competitors are putting pressure on pricing for land-based rigs. Still, H&P has become a much bigger player in the industry than it was a decade ago, and with some of the highest returns on equity in the business, H&P has a competitive advantage over many of its weaker peers.
Oil-services giant Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB) also finished down sharply, falling nearly 4% as the company said that activity in North America was weaker than it had expected, with fewer rigs under operation. Echoing Helmerich’s comments, Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:SLB) noted pricing pressure for many of its product lines as competition to serve the energy industry ramps up. Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) was also among the top losers on the day, falling 2.8% due largely to the same trend.
Finally, Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR) rounded out the three biggest losers with a 3.5% loss. Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP) actually cited Nabors as one of the companies H&P believes it outclasses, with Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR)’ U.S. land-based market share shrinking from nearly 15% in 2003 to just 9% currently. Moreover, Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR) has seen a huge drop of nearly 40% in active land rigs since the industry’s peak in 2008. An improving picture in drilling activity would likely lift all of the industry’s players, but Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE:NBR) needs to work harder to maintain its position in the drilling services field.
The article Today’s 3 Worst Stocks originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Caplinger.
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