The 9 Worst Stocks to Buy Right Now

The coronavirus outbreak is making a number of stocks look like bad bets for new money at current levels.

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The coronavirus outbreak is making a number of stocks look like bad bets for new money at current levels. Of even more concern are those big, brand-name stocks Wall Street wasn't completely sold on even before COVID-19 hit the scene.

To get a sense of some of the worst well-known stocks to buy now, we scoured the broader market for stocks with large market values and a collective shrug on the part of analysts.

S&P Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts' stock calls and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals a Strong Buy and 5.0 is a Strong Sell. Scores between 3.5 and 2.5 translate into a Hold recommendation. Any score higher than 3.5 means that analysts, on average, believe the stock should be sold. The closer a score gets to 5.0, the higher their collective conviction.

We limited ourselves to average scores of 2.9 and above. Additionally, since Sell calls are so rare, we searched for names with at least two of them. Lastly, we only looked at stocks with at least 15 "darn-with-faint-praise" Hold recommendations.

The result? Nine of the worst stocks to buy right now. Among these brand-name stocks are two Dow components and two of Warren Buffett's favorite stock picks. If you currently hold these companies, especially for the long term, you're OK – these are simply places where investors should avoid putting new money at the moment. However, every one of these stocks likely will be worth another look once the current crisis and company-specific issues have passed.

Data is as of March 5. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, 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, demographics, real estate 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.