A Wild Day in the S&P

Have investors gone completely crazy? Or have they just gotten smarter? The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) posted a .72% gain today, despite Moody’s delivering its dreaded downgrades to 15 global banks. The broad markets are looking eerily similar to last week, when negative news sent markets higher.

“The banks have gotten so much better in the last few years in terms of capital, yet their ratings keep going down … the ratings were so wrong before,” explained Morningstar credit analyst James Leonard, calling the downgrades a “mea culpa” from Moody’s. In other words, the downgrades simply reflect the actual market value of the banks. And, after yesterday’s sell-off, investors saw value.

Despite German business confidence shrinking to its lowest level in over two years, according to Munich-based ifo institute, the market performed rather well today.

In the U.S., Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) saw an impressive 1.5% gain. To those watching the company closely, this is not surprising, because  the pharmacy company is still correcting after investors chucked it on Wednesday, dropping it more than 10% after news that it would buy a 45% stake in Alliance Boots. Walgreen CEO Greg Wasson is hoping to gain a foothold in China and Europe through the new merger, and investors are starting to buy into his optimism. The company is up 3.3% since Wednesday’s low.  

Also leading the charge forward was Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) , which saw a nearly 3% gain on the day. This is likely a delayed reaction to yesterday’s headlines, and the news that 69% of consumers would pay a small fee for online videos. The fee happens to fall within Netflix’s cheapest monthly subscription, so the news looks promising for the video giant. Or, perhaps investors are continuing their contrarian trend, and buying Netflix because a closed-captioning lawsuit against it was allowed to advance.

Ryder System (NYSE: R  ) brings up the rear in the S&P, falling more than 13% on its faltering earnings outlook. The 2Q2012 EPS forecast fell $.17, to $0.90 to $0.95, and the full-year EPS forecast fell into the $3.65 to $3.85 range, a heavy drop from the earlier projection of $4.02 to $4.12. The company reiterated that the forecast still shows a 5% to 10% increase from the $3.49 posted in 2011.

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Will Chavey owns no shares in the companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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