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These are the 20 worst-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2020 — analysts see double-digit rebounds for 6 of them in 2021

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During the stock market’s March plunge, it may have been difficult for you to expect 2020 to end up as a good year for stocks, but incredibly low interest rates from the Federal Reserve, unprecedented federal spending to support the economy and investors enthusiasm for technology stocks did just that.

But while many stocks did well, 207 of the S&P’ 500 index’s
US:SPX
  components are down for 2020. Further down you’ll find a list of the 20 worst-performing S&P stocks. While Wall Street analysts remain downbeat on some of them for 2021, they foresee a significant recovery for others — particularly in one industry.

Here’s how the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 have performed this year, as the benchmark has risen 15.6% through Dec. 28:

S&P 500 sector

Price change – 2020 through Dec. 28

Information Technology

42.6%

Consumer Discretionary

31.4%

Communication Services

22.1%

Materials

16.3%

Health Care

9.7%

Industrials

8.4%

Consumer Staples

7.2%

Utilities

-4.7%

Financials

-5.4%

Real Estate

-6.0%

Energy

-37.4%

Source: FactSet

The coronavirus recession caused demand for oil to plummet, as the cruise industry has shut down and commercial air flights have plummeted. But production cuts have improved the balance between supply and demand. Here’s a chart showing continuous front-month futures quotes for West Texas crude oil this year:


FactSet

That’s a remarkable recovery; however, WTI is still 22% below where it was at the end of 2019. This explains why energy-sector companies make up more than half of this year’s list of the 20 worst-performing S&P 500 stocks through Dec. 28:

Company

Ticker

 Industry 

Price change – 2020

 Occidental Petroleum Corp. 

US:OXY  Oil & Gas Production 

-58%

 Carnival Corp. 

US:CCL  Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 

-57%

 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

US:NCLH  Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 

-56%

 TechnipFMC PLC

US:FTI  Oilfield Services/Equipment 

-56%

 Marathon Oil Corp. 

US:MRO  Oil & Gas Production 

-51%

 HollyFrontier Corp. 

US:HFC  Oil Refining/Marketing 

-50%

 United Airlines Holdings Inc. 

US:UAL  Airlines 

-50%

 Oneok Inc. 

US:OKE  Oil & Gas Pipelines 

-49%

 Diamondback Energy Inc. 

US:FANG  Oil & Gas Production 

-49%

 Schlumberger NV 

US:SLB  Oilfield Services/Equipment 

-46%

 National Oilwell Varco Inc. 

US:NOV  Oilfield Services/Equipment 

-46%

 Royal Caribbean Group 

US:RCL  Hotels/Resorts/Cruiselines 

-45%

 Apache Corp. 

US:APA  Oil & Gas Production 

-44%

 Vornado Realty Trust 

US:VNO  Real Estate Investment Trusts 

-44%

 Wells Fargo & Company 

US:WFC  Major Banks 

-44%

 American Airlines Group Inc. 

US:AAL  Airlines 

-44%

 Simon Property Group Inc. 

US:SPG  Real Estate Investment Trusts 

-43%

 EOG Resources Inc. 

US:EOG  Oil & Gas Production 

-42%

 Valero Energy Corp. 

US:VLO  Oil Refining/Marketing 

-41%

 Devon Energy Corp. 

US:DVN  Oil & Gas Production 

-41%

Source: FactSet

Scroll the table to see all the data.

You can click on the tickers for more about each company, including news coverage, charts, financial data and price ratios.

Here’s a summary of Wall Street analysts’ opinions about these stocks:

Company

Ticker

Share ‘buy’ ratings

Share neutral ratings

Share ‘sell’ ratings

Closing price – Dec. 28

Consensus price target

Implied 12-month upside potential

 Occidental Petroleum Corp. 

US:OXY 17%

66%

17%

$17.40

$16.73

-4%

 Carnival Corp. 

US:CCL 11%

68%

21%

$21.71

$17.95

-17%

 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. 

US:NCLH 35%

59%

6%

$25.53

$22.46

-12%

 TechnipFMC PLC 

US:FTI 70%

23%

7%

$9.41

$10.90

16%

 Marathon Oil Corp. 

US:MRO 33%

54%

13%

$6.63

$7.69

16%

 HollyFrontier Corp. 

US:HFC 37%

53%

10%

$25.22

$29.44

17%

 United Airlines Holdings Inc. 

US:UAL 39%

44%

17%

$43.92

$46.29

5%

 Oneok Inc. 

US:OKE 32%

56%

12%

$38.41

$37.30

-3%

 Diamondback Energy Inc. 

US:FANG 90%

10%

0%

$47.63

$59.90

26%

 Schlumberger NV 

US:SLB 70%

27%

3%

$21.57

$24.84

15%

 National Oilwell Varco Inc. 

US:NOV 44%

40%

16%

$13.56

$13.42

-1%

 Royal Caribbean Group 

US:RCL 33%

50%

17%

$72.89

$67.54

-7%

 Apache Corp. 

US:APA 39%

58%

3%

$14.21

$16.00

13%

 Vornado Realty Trust 

US:VNO 15%

54%

31%

$36.98

$41.55

12%

 Wells Fargo & Company 

US:WFC 48%

48%

4%

$29.93

$33.89

13%

 American Airlines Group Inc. 

US:AAL 18%

27%

55%

$16.06

$11.36

-29%

 Simon Property Group Inc. 

US:SPG 35%

65%

0%

$85.48

$92.00

8%

 EOG Resources Inc. 

US:EOG 74%

26%

0%

$48.94

$63.09

29%

 Valero Energy Corp. 

US:VLO 91%

4%

5%

$55.09

$64.11

16%

 Devon Energy Corp. 

US:DVN 80%

20%

0%

$15.35

$18.64

21%

Source: FactSet

So six of these companies have majority “buy” ratings, with analysts expecting the shares to rise by double digits over the next year. All are involved in oil or natural gas production or refining.

As always, if you see any stocks of interests, it’s important to do your own research to form your own opinion about a company’s prospects.

For more about 2020, click here for a list of this year’s best-performing stocks in the U.S. and here for a list of big winners that aren’t yet included in the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq-100
US:NDX
 indexes.

Don’t miss:20 of analysts’ favorite large-cap stocks for 2021, including GM, Facebook and Salesforce



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My brother owes $10K to our late father’s estate. There’s no loan agreement and I’m executor. How should I approach repayment?

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Dear Quentin,

My father passed and I am the executor of his will.

We sold the house and Dad’s assets with my brother’s help. Probate is done. We are ready to distribute the remainder of my father’s estate, but my brother owes the estate $10,000.

He feels that if he had paid this money back before Dad passed, he would still get half back, and therefore owes $5,000. (Dad also told me that he owed the money before he passed.)

My father’s will says his estate should be split 50/50. I feel my brother owes $10,000 to the estate. I do not want to rock the boat, and will do the right thing in order to keep peace.

What is the proper way to split $200,000 in cash when he owes the estate $10,000? For the record, my brother will abide by whatever I decide. Thank you in advance for your help.

Trying to Do the Right & Proper Thing

Dear Right & Proper,

You are right to not look for trouble where there is none.

Given that there is no notarized loan agreement between your brother and your late father and there is money to be distributed, it would seem simpler and faster to have him sign a note now saying he owes the estate $10,000 and deduct the $5,000 from his eventual inheritance. Done and done. He could, after all, say that the loan was only due to be repaid when your father was alive or, indeed, say the loan was a gift. (The subject of countless episodes of “Judge Judy.”)

Your story is a cautionary tale of what could go wrong. “A hug or a handshake is not sufficient to bind someone to loan repayment. Loans and repayment obligations should be spelled out in writing and include repayment terms upon the testator’s death,” according to the Absolute Trust Counsel, a California law firm. “It is the responsibility of the executor to collect the balance due. An estate cannot be settled until all loans are collected and all debts settled or paid.”

“When an estate is insolvent, the collection of outstanding loans becomes especially important. Creditors want to be paid and will pursue all available resources to accomplish that,” the firm adds. “Many times, unpaid loans create dissension among heirs. In some cases, heirs who owe money still expect to receive an equal share of an estate.”

There is a healthy cash sum from which to deduct your brother’s loan: $105,000 for you and $95,000 for him. It could get sticky otherwise.

Thankfully, your brother also wants to do what’s right and proper.

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com

The Moneyist: ‘Warren Buffett and Harry Potter couldn’t get those two retired early’: Our spendthrift neighbors said our adviser was ‘lousy.’ So how come WE retired early?

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
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 group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.



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These money and investing tips can help you sail the stock market’s choppy seas

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Don’t miss these top money and investing features:

These money and investing stories, popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week, give you tips about how to navigate the financial markets after February’s bumpy second half and signs pointing to March blowing in with more unpredictable winds.



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This 57-year-old said ‘screw this’ to San Francisco — and retired to ‘delightful’ Albuquerque, where she slashed her expenses by 70%

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When Roberta Reinstein moved to the Bay Area roughly 30 years ago to go to law school, it felt to her like a different place than it does now.

“It was possible for a student to live there…it was filled with artists,” she says. But Reinstein, 57, watched as real-estate prices skyrocketed (in just the past decade or so, home values have nearly doubled, according to Zillow) and many artists and less wealthy people had to move out. Nowadays, “San Francisco is only for the wealthy — the super wealthy — unless you’re willing to live with five roommates,” she jokes.


Do you have an interesting retirement story? Email helpmeretire@marketwatch.com with your story.

As she was watching San Francisco become a hub for the rich, she had a financial setback of her own: a divorce, in which she and her spouse had to split up their assets. And the divorce necessitated she move out of the family home, so she was spending $4,000 a month on a tiny pad to share with her daughter, Eva, she says.

“When Eva was in high school I started to think, do I really need to be here? There are lots of other places I can go.” And the more she thought about it, the more she realized: “Screw this, I gotta get out of here,” Reinstein says with a laugh. “I was ready for a break from the high cost, crowds and Google-fueled insanity of the Bay Area.”

Plus, she loved to flip houses (she’d done a couple in California years ago, before the real-estate prices were so high) and knew that was out of the question for her to do in the Bay Area — so she and her new partner, Peter, considered where else they could live. “We thought for a microsecond that Arizona might be the place, but it was way too hot in the summer.”

Roberta Reinstein and her partner, Peter.


Roberta Reinstein

They settled on Albuquerque for a number of reasons, including the weather, affordability of real estate, access to outdoor activities and the fact that Reinstein’s best friend had recently moved there.

Here’s what life is like in ABQ.

The area: Though it’s perhaps best known for its annual hot-air balloon festival and being the setting for AMC’s hit show “Breaking Bad”, ABQ — which has a population of roughly 550,000 — has a lot more going for it than that. “Albuquerque is a delightful, quirky hidden gem,” says Reinstein.

The Albuquerque Skyline at dusk.


iStock

It’s an artsy spot — there are hundreds of galleries and art studios; monthly art crawls, and a robust performing-arts scene — and a city where outdoor enthusiasts flock to. That’s helped along by the miles of hiking and biking trails in the adjacent Sandia and Manzano Mountains, as well as the roughly 300 days of sunshine. (Though January average lows are in the mid-20s, and July highs hit the low 90s.) And Reinstein tells MarketWatch she loves that it’s a diverse city with its own unique cuisine and celebrations.

Of course, there are downsides: Overall crime is high, though Reinstein says that while there are some not-so-desirable neighborhoods, there are plenty of areas that are safe. She adds that she’s never been the victim of a crime other than someone stealing a hose from one of the homes she was flipping. And there is “a fair amount of poverty,” says Reinstein. Plus, she says, the city can feel like it has a lot of sprawl, and she misses great Asian food.

View of the mountains from Reinstein’s yard


Roberta Reinstein

Here’s what MarketWatch recently wrote about Albuquerque.

The cost: Though Reinstein doesn’t keep a strict budget, she estimates that she probably spends about $3,000 a month to live in Albuquerque — despite having pricey hobbies like owning two horses — it costs her $1,250 a month to board them, which is her most significant expense. She says that most things are cheaper in Albuquerque than they were in San Francisco, including energy and gas, and estimates that she spends roughly 70% less a month than she did in the Bay Area.

Reinstein at the nearby stables.

The biggest way she saves money is by not having a mortgage on her home: She bought the four-bedroom, three-bath home that sits on an acre of land for $240,000, using a combination of savings, her divorce settlement and proceeds from homes she bought and flipped in Arizona and New Mexico, she says. And she adds that you can get a “nice house in a decent neighborhood for under $200,000” with smaller homes to be had for $100,000 or so, and can rent a nice place for $700 to $800 a month. Plus, she drives an older car — “a ratty Toyota Tundra truck” — she explains, so she doesn’t have a car loan.

The sitting room in Reinstein’s home.


Roberta Reinstein

Indeed, the cost of living and property taxes in Albuquerque are slightly below average for the U.S., median homes cost under $200,000, according to Sperling’s Best Places — and you can read about New Mexico’s tax situation here.

The bottom line: Reinstein says she plans to stay. “People are super friendly,” she adds, noting that it’s easy to make friends and get involved in things here. She’s part of a ladies walking group in the neighborhood and has made friends from her barn. “I have like two people I still correspond with [from the Bay Area],” she jokes, adding that “I was so wrapped up in my own world there.” But in ABQ, she says: “I had to go back to managing my schedule because I can’t get stuff done. I have so much to do here.”



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