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The Worst Stock Ideas Of December

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The Worst Stock Ideas Of December

Perhaps it’s fitting that the final monthly list of the five worst performing S&P 500 stocks of 2015 is populated entirely by oil and gas stocks. After collapsing in mid-2014, oil prices declined another 32 percent in 2015, falling to below $40/bbl as OPEC continues to flood the global market with crude oil.

It’s no surprise that December was a particularly tough month for oil and gas stocks after OPEC decided not only to maintain current production levels, but to up its production cap. The decision sent oil prices down to new multi-year lows this month, and the entire oil and gas sector suffered. However, these five names were hit hardest of all in the entire S&P 500.

5. Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO)

Marathon shares declined 29.3 percent in December, capping off a year in which the stock declined 56.2 percent overall. The company even cut its dividend back in October to try to weather the storm in the oil market, but the market appears to be losing faith.

Related Link: Why Did Credit Suisse Just Upgrade Oilfield Service & Equipment Stocks?

4. Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN)

Southwestern declined 30.0 percent in December, and the stock gave up 76.8 percent of its value in 2015. Shareholders are likely itching to turn the calendar to 2016.

3. Williams Companies Inc (NYSE: WMB)

Crude prices dragged this pipeline stock down 31.6 percent in December and 42.7 percent on the year. Even the decision to join forces with Energy Transfer Equity LP (NYSE: ETE) wasn’t enough to stop the bleeding.

2. Devon Energy Corp (NYSE: DVN)

Devon’s falling share price is not for lack of confidence. The company acquired more than $4 billion in assets, presumably as a steep discount, in early December. The stock declined 32.1 percent on the month.

1. Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE: KMI)

The worst of the worst oil and gas stocks in December was Kinder Morgan, which declined 38.3 percent in December. The market didn’t seem to care for the 75 percent dividend cut the company announced earlier in the month.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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