Today's 3 Best Stocks

It appears that nothing short of a catastrophe is going to stop the broad-based S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) from challenging its all-time high set back in 2007. The index advanced for a seventh consecutive day following what could be perceived as negative news from China overnight. That country's industrial production rose what would appear to be a robust 9.9% in the first two months of 2013. However, this is a 0.4% drop-off from December. Also, retail sales figures jumped 12.3% in the same period, the slowest growth in retail sales exhibited since 2009.

Still, optimism from Friday's jobs report continued to supply the spark that lit a fire under the market. For the day, the S&P 500 moved higher by 5.04 points (0.32%) to finish at 1,556.22.

Leading the charge higher is no stranger to the winner's column of late, Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW  ) , which advanced nearly 7% after a Barron's article over the weekend insinuated that the stock could nearly double from its current level. Barron's focused on projected gains in its mortgage insurance side of the business and noted that, at less than half of its book value, it could easily head higher. I tend to agree that Genworth is the mortgage insurer of choice, but I definitely feel that caution should be exercised in the sector. Over the past two weeks, MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG  ) has more than doubled despite the fact that its risk-to-capital ratio is nearly 45:1 -- a level dangerous enough to halt underwriting activities or even prompt regulators to shut it down until it brings in more capital. This could be a lucrative sector to invest in, if you remain diligent.

Video game developer Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA  ) leapt 3% on mixed news regarding server issues for its newly released version of SimCity. Die-hard video game fans of SimCity have been nothing short of ticked off with EA's multiple server issues, which meant that it was unable to handle the sheer volume of people wanting to play the game. With that being said, the fact that its servers won't be at 100% for at least a few more days has to strike a chord with those angry gamers. However, that a fix finally appears in sight could lend credence to the idea that EA may soon be able to draw upon the fanatical love of the Sims franchise. This is certainly a PR flub, but I'd say it's doubtful that this launch poses long-term damage to the EA brand or Sims franchise.

Finally, automaker Ford (NYSE: F  ) revved up shareholders by gaining 2.8% after China's auto sales figures came in better than many expected. In total, China's auto sales soared 19.5% in January/February from the previous year -- one of the few sales aspects that accelerated from 2012. Specifically for Ford, sales rose by a whopping 46% to 105,209 vehicles. Although its China sales won't make up for the ghastly results we've witnessed in Europe that are caused by widespread austerity measures, it's clearly a positive that Ford's found alternative areas of growth outside the U.S. and Europe.

Is Ford ready to drive over the competition?
Ford has been performing incredibly well as a company over the past few years -- it's making good vehicles, is consistently profitable, recently reinstated its dividend, and has done a remarkable job paying down its debt. But Ford's stock seems stuck in neutral. Does this create an incredible buying opportunity, or are there hidden risks with the stock that investors need to know about? To answer that, one of our top equity analysts has compiled a premium research report with in-depth analysis on whether Ford is a buy right now and why. Simply click here to get instant access to this premium report.


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (0)

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.

  • Report this Comment On March 11, 2013, at 6:41 PM, 1NWPAinvestor wrote:

    Sean, Did you miss last weeks news for MGIC?

    Seems they just raised 1.2 BILLION.

    Maybe that will help with lowering the ratio?

    I would guess maybe in half.

  • Report this Comment On March 11, 2013, at 11:30 PM, SELLmtg wrote:

    It's my opinion that MTG is a strong buy because:

    1) Its risk-to-capital ratio will be reduced to 12:1 quickly

    because it raised 1.2 Billion dollars last week

    Therefore, MTG has NO problem with regulators.

    2)Baclays upgraded MTG rating to OVERWIGHT

    (Baclays's highest rating) last week.

    3) S&P upgraded MTG last Thursday or Friday

    and Moodys is considering upgrade MTG as well.

    4) Many insiders bought MTG shares last week

    and this week at $5.15. These show a strong confidence in MTG .

    5) Unemployment rate is at 7.7% which is low

    (reported last Friday). This indicates that MTG is going to do well from here forward. And MTG is going to be profitable in Q3 2013. It can write more

    and more mortage insurances with the money (1.2bl) that it just raised. (Note: It took MTG only 24 hours to raised 1.2BL easily because housing market recovers. MTG also has NO MORE write down as it did last Q4 2012).

    MTG has been the largest mortage insurance company and MTG share price will be $15.

    per shares or more in a very short term and will be higher than

    $40. next year and higher the year after next.

    Notes: MTG is a heavy shorted stock and the short

    sellers will have to cover their short positions which

    make MTG share price will go up quickly

Add your comment.

DocumentId: 2305966, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/18/2014 5:04:03 AM

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...


Advertisement