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

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

It was an extremely busy week from the economic data front, but with no noteworthy data on the table today, investors had time to reflect on the FOMC's comments from earlier in the week, and realized that things aren't as bright and cheery as they originally suspected.

On one hand, investors love the prospect of ongoing stimulus as it's essentially free money that's being injected into the economy to support low-lending rates over the long term, and help buoy the housing sector. Investors have really been leaning on housing again over the past year as a tool in addition to stocks to grow their wealth, so this was initially seen as a surprisingly favorable move by the Fed.

But, with a few days having passed, investors also realize that the reason the stimulus is staying in place, and the Fed isn't tapering, is because the economic data is still weak. In other words, the Fed doesn't believe the U.S. economy is ready to have its training wheels taken off yet. That exhibits little faith on the Fed's part in the U.S. economy, and casts doubt over the broad-based S&P 500's (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  )  new all-time high set earlier this week.

With perhaps a little reality settling in, investors sent the S&P to its steepest sell-off in three weeks, with the index losing 12.58 points (-0.73%), to close at 1,709.76.

The top gainer within the S&P 500 today certainly didn't put up awe-stopping numbers, but with a gain of 2.8%, shareholders of analytical data solutions company Teradata (NYSE: TDC  ) will gladly take it heading into the weekend. The move appears to be partly related to yesterday's press release that its Teradata Aster Discovery Platform had won two People's Choice Stevie awards. Obviously, getting product recognition is great for Teradata, as it's free advertising, and consumers/enterprises like to buy what other users feel is the superior product. Weak government spending has certainly been a bit of a drawback for Teradata over the past year, but at 18 times forward earnings, I'd consider it worth another look.

Content streaming king Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) also decisively bucked the downtrend by advancing 2.7% despite a lack of company-specific news, and hitting a new all-time intraday high of $315.88/share. One possible motive behind the move is the excitement among entertainment-industry enthusiasts with regard to Sunday's Emmy awards. Netflix has made big strides to expand its digital content library, sign new content deals, and make a big push overseas, so award ceremonies like the Emmy's only give Netflix an opportunity to show off the diversity of its hit programming. While it's hard to argue against Netflix's incredible comeback, I still can't get behind a company that's producing minimal cash flow and trades at 94 times next year's earnings.

Finally, bio-analytic and measurement solutions company Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A  ) carried over some of yesterday's excitement, and added on another 2.3% in gains. If you recall, Agilent announced yesterday that it plans to split up into two separate companies: one that will encompass its life sciences, diagnostics, and applied markets operations that will retain the Agilent name, and another company that will be comprised of its electronic measurement solutions segment. Spinoffs help improve revenue and earnings transparency for shareholders, which make investing decisions easier for prospective shareholders and often unlocks shareholder value. The big unanswered question here, though, is whether or not Agilent can reignite organic growth once it does split.

Can Netflix's TV dominance continue?
Americans reportedly spend nearly 34 hours a week watching television! With television viewing taking up almost as much time as the average work week, the potential for profits in the space is enormous. The Motley Fool's top experts have created a new free report titled, "Will Netflix Own the Future of Television?" The report not only outlines where the future of television is heading, but offers top ideas for how to profit. To get your free report, just click here!

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

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: 2647784, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/29/2016 10:07:00 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...

Today's Market

updated 51 minutes ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,143.45 -195.79 -1.07%
S&P 500 2,151.13 -20.24 -0.93%
NASD 5,269.15 -49.39 -0.93%

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

9/29/2016 4:35 PM
^GSPC $2151.13 Down -20.24 -0.93%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
A $46.41 Down -0.77 -1.63%
Agilent Technologi… CAPS Rating: ***
NFLX $96.67 Down -0.81 -0.83%
Netflix CAPS Rating: ***
TDC $30.11 Down -0.85 -2.75%
Teradata CAPS Rating: ***