The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average just completed their best month of the year thanks to investors’ growing risk appetite, but a few notable stocks were forced to watch the rally from the sidelines, including several in one limping sector.
Only 12% of S&P constituents ended November in the red, according to FactSet data.
Payroll processor Paycom brought up the rear of that dubious group, as its shares fell 26% this month after the firm’s 2024 sales guidance came in far below analyst forecasts.
Health insurance giant Cigna was the second-biggest loser, dipping 15% this month as investors reacted sourly to a report the company planned to merge with rival Humana.
Silicon Valley titan Cisco’s 7% November share price drop was the steepest of any S&P component with a market value over $100 billion, owing its slump to tepid revenue guidance, while shares of retail giant Walmart notched a 5% monthly decline after a similar post-earnings fall.
Energy was the only one of the S&P’s 11 sectors to fall in November, slipping 2% as crude oil prices declined dramatically; shares of industry leaders like ConocoPhillips, Exxon and Hess all slid this month.
Shares of pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance also fell in November, dropping 4% and hitting their lowest price since the 1990s.
The S&P and Dow both rose 8% this month. November was the S&P’s best month since July 2022 and fourth-best month this decade, as a mostly strong batch of third-quarter earnings and a strengthening belief in loosening monetary policy inspired the broad rally. Information technology was the top-returning sector, building its case as the crown jewel of 2023 as the group including red-hot mega-cap names like Microsoft, Apple and Nvidia enjoyed earnings beats.
Energy was the top-performing sector in 2022 as crude prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and investors flocked toward the strong cash-generating stocks amid recession concerns, worries that the market has seemingly moved past in 2023.