3 Stocks That Defied the Market Today

After opening higher to start the day, equity markets failed to find their footing, and slowly trended lower through the close.  Below is a snapshot of where the major indices finished the day.

Futures Index

Gain / (Loss)

Gain / (Loss) %

Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  )

(68)

(0.51%)

13,203

Nasdaq

(9)

(0.29%)

3,067

S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  )

(5)

(0.35%)

1,413

Some argue that investors are in store for a period of consolidation or, at worst, a correction in prices, after the significant rally in stocks from the recent lows of early June.  After all, much of the recent optimism has revolved around hopes for additional monetary stimulus in both Europe and the U.S.; but those catalysts are far from certain, and unlikely to solve deeper rooted political, social, and economic headwinds. That being said, markets have a tendency to act seemingly irrational, and investors are best suited looking for great businesses with even better long term prospects.

While their long term prospects are all up for debate, a few companies were able to shake the market’s daily trend lower today by posting impressive gains: JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) , and First Solar (Nasaq:FSLR).

Shares of the House of Dimon, as JPMorgan has come to be known, led all Dow components, with a 1.8% gain for the day. The move higher came on much higher-than-expected trading volume, with the stock changing hands about 36.4 million times versus an average of around 19 million. Company-specific news didn’t fuel the gains – it was more a broad based financial sector rally, with other large banks, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup, moving higher for the day, as well.

Shares of networking player Cisco took the silver in Dow trading, with shares up 1.2% for the day. The company might be appealing to a new crop of investor following last week’s earnings report. The company increased its dividend by 75%, and committed to returning half of its cash flow to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Turning to the S&P 500, shares of First Solar surged 7.5%, following up yesterday’s gain of 5.7%. First Solar impressed investors with a better-than-expected earnings report earlier this month. It has continued to rise on investor optimism over its growing presence in utility-scale projects, taking advantage of the financial miseries being experienced by weaker Chinese competitors.

First Solar’s massive 55% rally since reporting earnings speaks to the opportunity some investors see. Despite the rally, shares are still down 29% for the year, and it may not be too late to participate. To learn more about First Solar and the key opportunities and threats facing the solar stock, make sure to read our brand new premium report on the company. Not only will you better understand the company today, but you’ll get a full year of updates to go with it. Click here to claim your copy now.

Brenton Flynn owns no shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems and JPMorgan Chase. 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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