The average stock in the S&P 1500 was up 9.24% year-to-date through September, but October has been brutal for stocks thus far.  On the surface, the S&P 1500 is only down 1.4% month-to-date, but what lies beneath is much worse.  As shown in the chart below, the average stock in the index has fallen 2.75% this month, and cyclical sectors have taken it on the chin even harder.

While just 15 stocks in the S&P 1500 are up 10% or more this month, a whopping 106 are down more than 10%!

Technology stocks have been hit the hardest so far in October.  After averaging a gain of 14.41% YTD through September, the average Tech stock has fallen 6.11% already this month.  Other cyclicals like Health Care and Consumer Discretionary have been nearly just as bad with average declines of more than 4.5%.

As cyclicals have gotten crushed, investors have rotated into Utilities (defensives) the most with an average gain of 2.88% MTD.

Two other themes of October have been rising oil prices and the steepening of the yield curve.  Rising oil prices have had a direct impact on Energy stocks, which have averaged a gain of 2.61% this month.  The steepening of the yield curve helps banks make more money, and Financial stocks have averaged a gain of 0.54% in October.

Below is a list of the worst performing stocks in the S&P 1500 so far this month.  All of the stocks listed have lost more than 15% of their value in just nine calendar days.

Akorn (AKRX) is down the most at -49.65%, followed by Cutera (CUTR) at -32.81% and LeMaitre Vascular (LMAT) at -30.2%.  Both AKRX and CUTR were down on the year already coming into October, but LMAT was up 21.67% YTD as of the end of September.  Now it’s down 15% YTD.

Other notables on the list of biggest losers include G-III Apparel (GIII), RH (Restoration Hardware), Microchip (MCHP), and American Airlines (AAL).

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