5 Sickly S&P 500 Stocks to Sell or Avoid

Wall Street's professional analysts say these five S&P 500 stocks are some of the worst bets in the market right now.

Vector : Decreasing graph and arrow on red stock board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The stock market has been remarkably resilient this year amid the pandemic and recession. But the Dow's massive 1,800-point plunge on June 11 should serve as a reminder that equities remain risky.

And some are much riskier than others.

Every investor wants to buy "when there's blood in the streets." The hard part is making sure it's not your blood.

To be sure, there is no shortage of stocks for which a bear case can be made. Some of these stocks could very well be beaten-down bargains. Others, not so much.

To get a sense of where the traps might lie, we searched the S&P 500 for stocks with the lowest average analyst recommendations. Furthermore, because analysts are so reluctant to issue Sell recommendations, we homed in on stocks with a comparatively high number of these bearish calls.

Lastly, we dug into research and fundamentals. After applying our criteria, we found stocks to sell among retailers, consumer staples, energy, financials and even the odd utility. But five names looked particularly risky.

Have a look at these five troubled stocks, which have some of the lowest average analyst ratings in the S&P 500. If you're looking for stocks to sell or avoid, these would be worthy candidates.

Stock prices, ratings and other data are courtesy of S&P Capital IQ as of June 11, unless otherwise noted. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent quarterly payout and dividing by the share price.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is a financial writer at Kiplinger, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.