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Four stocks that could fall 50%

Even seemingly healthy companies can be torn apart by forces beyond their control, and despite a hell-for-leather bull market, every company, whether in favor or out, faces risks to its business model. Our analysts have identified five stocks to sell based on inordinate risk. Each company we have identified is threatened by an identifiable, quantifiable trend that is already in progress, yet each stock has traded higher recently. The risk to these stocks is serious enough that we believe prudent investors should get out, and the relatively high prices mean that for now at least, the getting is still good.

Microsoft (MSFT)
Microsoft makes the ubiquitous Windows line of computer operating systems, thereby determining the capabilities of most of the world's computers. This in turn gives the company tremendous power to design and distribute software applications, as evinced by the equally ubiquitous Office line of business software. To avoid anti-trust concerns, Microsoft has made (and defended) the counterintuitive claim that it isn't using its advantage to its advantage. While I'm sure Microsoft's formidable lawyers are correct in every legalistic sense, one needn't know much about business or technology to see why Microsoft's rivals complain that the company has a permanent home field advantage.

Julian Close

Julian Close became a stockbroker in 1995. In his 20 years of market experience, he has seen all market conditions and written about every aspect of investing. Julian has also written extensively on corporate best practices and even written reports for the United Nations. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.