This article is part of a Real Money series on 20 distressed companies investors should consider adding to their distressed watch list.
The market does not appear to like the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates steady, especially those companies already laden with earnings problems.
Despite a nearly 2% drop in the S&P 500 following the Fed's announcement, Tidewater (TDW) was the only member of Real Money's distressed watch list to post gains of over 1%, less than an hour after the decision. (Meanwhile, U.S. Steel (X) and Sprint (S) shares each popped less than 1%.)
But since then the entire index has fallen, and some companies have been less fortunate than others.
Of the 20 members on the distressed radar, Freeport McMoRan (FCX) was the most badly hit, dropping more than 6% just over an hour after the Fed announcement, followed by a less than 6% drop for Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and a 5% decrease in Avon Products (AVP) shares.
"Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability," the Federal Reserve Board said in an afternoon statement.
"The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen. Inflation is expected to remain low in the near term, in part because of the further declines in energy prices, but to rise to 2% over the medium term as the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate and the labor market strengthens further," the Fed said.
The Fed has decided to keep the federal funds rate unchanged, the central interest rate upon which most U.S. lending rates are pegged, and Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank will continue to monitor employment and economic growth to determine if it is meeting its two central mandates of maximizing employment and controlling inflation.
Next on the list of index names most badly hit were Ultra Petroleum (UPL) and McDermott (MDR), which each fell 5% just an hour after the decision.
For more on Real Money's 20 distressed companies to watch: