3 Stocks Trumping the Dow

Somehow markets are flat despite Spain essentially declaring it is being shut out of capital markets thanks to high coupons demanded by potential bond investors. So, Spain isn't broke (yet), but it may be at a point of no return. Hopefully, this will spur the European Central Bank into action, as estimates have the Spanish banking sector in need of 40 billion to 90 billion euros to stay afloat. Bankia recently received a 19 billion euro lifeline from the Spanish government, while the CEO of Banco Santander (NYSE: STD  ) is insisting that additional bailouts are needed to keep the challenged sector afloat.

Releasing Greece from the eurozone is manageable, but if the dominoes start to fall for Spain and Italy, the long-term survival of the currency and the great European experiment is in jeopardy.

That said, let's take a closer look at the three major indexes and drill down on three stocks soaring above the rest of the market.

Index

Gain/Loss

Gain/Loss %

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  )

(26.95)

(0.22%)

12,091.62

Nasdaq

7.33

0.27%

2,754.81

S&P 500

(0.53)

(0.04%)

1,277.51

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

All three major indexes are slightly up as of this writing, but it wouldn't take much to push them into negative territory. Energy is leading the charge after a taking a beating yesterday. Dow component Caterpillar is up nearly 1%, but its new partner for developing natural-gas engines, Westport Innovations (Nasdaq: WPRT  ) , popped 20%. Westport has been cut in half over the past quarter, so today's gains are a welcome relief for shareholders. Commercial production is still half a decade away, but as unconventional drilling spreads globally, the world may find itself awash in cheap natural gas, making Cat's products an easy purchase decision.

And speaking of alternative fuel sources, Amyris (Nasdaq: AMRS  ) is soaring 30% higher on news that its Brazilian sugar-cane-based jet fuel will be used in a demonstration flight in two weeks. The fuel passed all tests, showing that it has equivalent performance to conventional jet fuel, with the advantage of green energy and production located in Western-friendly countries. Insiders had been snapping up shares of the renewable fuel company over the last few months, but the stock still has a long way to go, as it is down 80% for the year.

The final notable mover today is BioSante (Nasdaq: BPAX  ) , up 12% on no specific news. The stock was crushed in December after its female sexual dysfunction drug LibiGel failed to show a statistically significant benefit, thanks to a strong placebo performance. Its testosterone treatment Bio-T-Gel was approved by the FDA, but most of the money from that will go to Teva Pharmaceuticals. The company recently executed a one-for-six reverse split to keep its Nasdaq listing, and BioSante's newfound share price of more than $3 opens the door for investors barred from purchasing penny stocks.

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David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Westport Innovations. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Westport Innovations. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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