Dow Jones Stocks In 2020: Worst Of Year Feature Race To The Bottom

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The worst-performing Dow Jones stocks this year include Boeing (BA), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Chevron (CVX), Intel (INTC) and Merck (MRK), though the race for the biggest loser is close.




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They all saw double-digit percentage losses while the overall Dow Jones stock index is up 5.6% for the year. But the biggest loser of the year won’t be known until the last day of 2020.

Worst Dow Jones Stock — For Now

Boeing stock is down 33.7% so far this year but is up 30.8% in Q4, making it the second best Dow Jones stock for the quarter as the 737 Max returned to service while coronavirus vaccines raised hopes for air travel.

The aircraft maker was already struggling heading into 2020, following the grounding of the 737 Max after two fatal crashes. As a result, airlines began canceling orders for the 737 Max. Then the pandemic hit and travel came to a standstill, prompting airlines to cancel more orders.

Boeing stock is back below buy range after breaking out of a cup-type base with a 234.30 buy point within a larger consolidation, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. The relative strength line, which measures a company’s performance against the S&P 500, bounced back from its lows in March but is trending lower again.

While a few airlines have placed new 737 Max orders, Boeing still faces a tough road to recovery as orders collapsed by more than 1,000 planes before December. Zacks Research analysts expect Boeing to post a loss of $8.95 a share for 2020. Wall Street sees a return to profitability in 2021 with EPS of 47 cents.

Walgreens Boots Stock

The drugstore chain is down 33.2% this year, making it a close second for worst Dow Jones stock, as online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) gobbles up market share with its entry into the pharmacy space. Walgreens store visits, already sluggish in 2019, worsened in 2020 as the pandemic shifted shopping online.

But shares are up 9.7% for Q4 as Walgreens helps distribute Covid-19 vaccines. Fiscal Q1 earnings are due before the market opens on Jan. 7, and analysts expect a 25.6% EPS drop to $1.02. Revenue is seen up 1.6% to $34.89 billion.

Walgreens stock rose 0.2% to 39.47 on the stock market Wednesday, in a consolidation, with a buy point of 44.97. But the IBD Stock Checkup shows it has a Composite Rating of just 7 out of a best-possible 99. That places the company in the bottom 7% of all stocks. Its relative strength line has been whipsawing and is trending lower.

Chevron Stock

Shares are down 29% for 2020 as low fuel demand hit oil prices hard this year. There is light at the end of the Covid tunnel, and the stock is up 18.9% for Q4. But oil industry experts don’t expect oil prices to rally in 2021.

Chevron stock plunged in March at the start of Covid lockdowns, but rebounded as more Americans opted for summer road trips and global economies began reopening. Then, as Covid cases rose in the fall and folks retreated indoors, Chevron shares fell sharply again.

Chevron has a an RS Rating of 16, while its relative strength line is trending lower. It’s also the last remaining energy company on the Dow Jones stock index after Exxon Mobil (XOM) was ousted earlier this year in favor of Salesforce (CRM).

Intel Stock

A series of blows knocked this chipmaker’s stock down 18.8% in 2020 and 6.1% in Q4. In June, Intel client Apple announced it would be making its own chips for Mac computers. In July, Intel stock sank 21% after the company said it would delay production of 7-nanometer scale processors. Intel lost 6% on Dec. 18 after Bloomberg reported that client Microsoft is designing its own chips for data-center servers and its Surface PCs.

Intel, the only pure-play chipmaker on the Dow Jones stock index, spiked Dec. 29 on reports that activist investor Third Point asked the company to consider strategic alternatives, such as separating chip design from the manufacturing business, which could be rolled into a joint venture, sources told Reuters.

Intel’s EPS Rating is a solid 86 out of a possible 99, but its RS Rating is a dismal 6.

Merck Stock

In a year where rivals Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) made headlines for producing the first two highly effective Covid vaccines, Merck’s 10.3% annual decline makes it a laggard. Shares have also lost 1.6% in Q4. Ironically, Pfizer was ousted from the Dow Jones stock index earlier this year and is about flat for 2020.

Merck is best known for its cancer treatment Keytruda. But it also recently bought private biotech company Themis, a vaccine outlet.

Merck stock dipped 0.3% to 81.16 Wednesday, but is still near a buy point of 85.27 from a cup-with-handle base. Its EPS Rating is a solid 86, but its Composite Rating is just 43.

Follow Adelia Cellini Linecker on Twitter @IBD_Adelia.

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