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



Today's 3 Best Stocks

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

What little economic data there was today certainly did its job to fuel investor optimism, but that still wasn't enough for the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) to escape the growing turmoil in Egypt.

On the positive side, U.S. auto sales for both Ford (NYSE: F  ) and General Motors came in higher than expected thanks to strong sales of pick-up trucks. Ford was the real standout once again with a 13.4% uptick in total unit sales thanks to a 24% rise in F-150 sales. By comparison, GM's unit gain of 6.5% was much tamer. Vehicles aren't an inexpensive investment for consumers, so this goes to show how resilient the American consumer is in the face of higher payroll taxes and rising gas prices and signals that GDP growth may steadily expand.

However, as I mentioned, concerns regarding the possibility of a coup in Egypt continue to spook the markets -- specifically the oil market. Any coup would lead to the possibility of oil export disruptions, which could have wildly negative effects on worldwide oil prices and subsequent growth.

When all was said and done, the S&P 500 dipped by a fractional 0.88 points (-0.05%) to finish the day at 1,614.08. In spite of the minor downdraft, three companies managed to easily buck the trend and zoom higher.

Topping the list was steel products provider U.S. Steel (NYSE: X  ) , which jumped 8.3% after it and a consortium of domestic steel producers filed a petition against nine oil-producing countries for antidumping practices. U.S. Steel has struggled with sluggish global steel demand and weak pricing, so any type of subsidy or tariff advantage that foreign countries would have is certain to make life difficult for U.S. Steel. However, I would suggest keeping your distance, even after today's move as U.S. Steel boasts one of the most debt-heavy balance sheets of the group.

Genuine Parts (NYSE: GPC  ) turned in an impressive gain of 4.3% on the day, likely on the heels of that better-than-expected June auto sales report. Although Genuine Parts is a distributor of parts to the used car sector, the mere fact that people are purchasing new cars can mean that consumers are trading-in and selling previous models. That could create a huge demand for used car parts and push Genuine Parts' share price even higher.

Finally, regional bank First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN  ) , which has banking branches throughout Tennessee, added 4.2% just a day after paying shareholders a $0.05 quarterly dividend. Like Genuine Parts, there is no company specific news driving First Horizon higher, but the prospect for a higher net interest margin because of higher interest rates is certainly adding a boost to banks like First Horizon that rely on traditional loan and deposit growth. But as my Foolish colleague John Maxfield recently pointed out, you may want to keep your expectations for First Horizon tempered in the interim.

The price of becoming the world's greatest investor is that Warren Buffett can no longer make many of types of investments that made him rich in the first place. Find out about one such opportunity in "The Stock Buffett Wishes He Could Buy." The free report details a sector of the economy Buffett's heavily invested in right now and exactly why he can't buy one attractive company in that sector. Click here to keep reading. 

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: 2521437, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/25/2016 1:57:32 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...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

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

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^GSPC $2164.69 Down -12.49 -0.57%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
FHN $15.24 Down -0.06 -0.39%
First Horizon Nati… CAPS Rating: **
GPC $98.62 Down -2.85 -2.81%
Genuine Parts Comp… CAPS Rating: *****
X $18.95 Up +0.75 +4.12%
United States Stee… CAPS Rating: **
F $12.17 Down -0.01 -0.08%
Ford CAPS Rating: ****