Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Here’s What 4 Stocks Helped and Hindered the Markets

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

If you pull on a rubber band enough times, it’s eventually going to snap. The markets had been anticipating that the Federal Reserve would move swiftly to reignite the economy following another lackluster jobs report, and Ben Bernanke didn’t disappoint. Earlier this afternoon, the Fed outlined plans to purchase $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities on a monthly basis until the employment situation improves, and also noted that it’s unlikely its interest rate targets will move higher until mid-2015. News of this consistent bond-buying intervention sent all indexes screaming higher, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) ending, once again, at multiyear highs, up 23.43 points (1.63%), to 1459.99.

Let’s take a glance at what stocks led today’s rally in the S&P 500, and note a few of the S&P 500’s laggards.

Companies that helped the S&P 500
Water-filtration company Pall (NYSE: PLL  ) picked a fantastic day to crush Wall Street’s fourth-quarter estimates. Although revenue for the quarter was essentially flat year over year, and net income fell 11%, both figures easily sailed past expectations -- revenue was $65 million higher than expected, EPS $0.22 better. However, in spite of its 7.9% gain, I’m not sure if I’d call this a slam dunk victory, as shrinking demand in Europe doesn’t bode well for its near-term growth prospects.

Anything and everything related to metals and mining also went on a tear today, with gold rising $34.50/oz., to $1,768.20/oz. Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM  ) was one of those standouts, up more than 5%. The reason Newmont, and any miner for that matter, is rising, is often in response to a fall in the U.S. dollar which usually causes the underlying metals they produce to rise in value. Gold, silver, and copper are all way up today, which is leading this not-so-surprising rally across the board in metal miners.

Companies that hindered the S&P 500
army of analysts willing to dish out downgrades took down another big name today in Northrup Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) . UBS analyst David Strauss slapped a dreaded "sell" rating on the company, noting that Northrup has significantly more exposure to a slowdown in government defense spending than its peers. Strauss also took exception to Northrup’s valuation, which he claimed is no longer at a discount to its peers. Northrup ended this bullish day down just over 1%.

Tyco International (NYSE: TYC  ) also fell victim to the downgrade bug, being downgraded to "equal weight" from "overweight" by Barclays, and having its price target reduced by $4 to $60. Tyco has suggested breaking itself up into three separate businesses -- ADT residential security, flow control, and commercial and fire security -- in order to improve operating efficiencies, and unlock shareholder value. The idea seems fantastic on paper, but Wall Street analysts are apparently growing impatient waiting for that breakup to occur.

Follow the yellow brick road?
This latest round of quantitative easing is almost assured to reinvigorate interest in mining stocks. Find out why gold could be a perfect fit for your portfolio, and why one tiny gold miner has gained the fancy of our analysts at Motley Fool Stock Advisor, by clicking here to download your copy of this latest special report.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Northrup Grumman. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2016520, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 5/4/2016 11:24:56 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and investment planning. You'll often find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, drug and device development, Social Security, taxes, retirement issues and general macroeconomic topics of interest.

Today's Market

updated 2 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASD 4,725.64 -37.59 -0.79%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

5/4/2016 4:33 PM
^GSPC $2051.12 Down -12.25 -0.59%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
NEM $32.35 Down -1.48 -4.37%
Newmont Mining Cor… CAPS Rating: ***
NOC $210.55 Up +0.95 +0.45%
Northrop Grumman C… CAPS Rating: ****
PLL.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Pall Corp CAPS Rating: **
TYC $37.33 Down -0.46 -1.22%
Tyco International CAPS Rating: ****