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



Why FireEye, FuelCell Energy, and Plug Power Are 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

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.

Another day of mixed economic data left the iconic S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) vacillating within a tight range, and gave investors another day of pause at the beginning of the new year following a nearly 30% gain in 2013.

On one hand, U.S. auto sales hit a six-year high with December's sales figures leading to a grand total of 15.6 million units being sold in 2013. However, most economists had predicted the auto sector would pull in about 16 million units this year. This shortfall demonstrated that consumers were choosing to scale back their car purchases around the holiday season. Domestically, Ford (NYSE: F  ) managed to pull out a 2% unit sale gain with its F-Series pickup continuing its now 32-year streak of being America's best-selling vehicle, while General Motors delivered a 6% decline in unit sales. Both figures missed Wall Street's expectations.

Also adding to the markets' uncertainties was a sizable decline in oil inventories of 7.01 million barrels, marking the fifth straight week of declines. Although oil prices have declined notably during the first two sessions of 2014 on weakness in China's manufacturing data, this precipitous decline in inventories could be worrisome for the future price of oil – and let's recall that higher oil prices can negatively impact consumers in their pocketbook.

By day's end, the S&P 500 ended fractionally lower by 0.61 points (-0.03%) for its second straight session of losses, to finish at 1,831.37. Despite the broad index moving fractionally lower, though, three stocks exploded to the upside.

Leading all companies to the upside today was malware protection service provider FireEye (NASDAQ: FEYE  ) , which advanced 38.6% after announcing the acquisition of endpoint Internet security and response company Mandiant for approximately $1 billion. The deal makes sense for both parties, giving Mandiant a reasonable premium, and allowing FireEye to attack both ends of Internet security including the proactive and reactive components. To add fuel to the fire (pun fully intended), FireEye also announced that its fourth-quarter and full-year revenue and billings topped its previously announced guidance. In 2014, for example, FireEye is now anticipating total billings will be $540 million to $560 million, up from a prior forecasted range of $350 million to $370 million. While I wouldn't advocate chasing FireEye higher at the moment, a moderate pullback could represent an intriguing buying opportunity.

Continuing with the theme of alternative energy stocks soaring, FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL  ) , a designer and servicer of fuel cell power plants, gained 17.4% despite a lack of company-specific news. Last week, however, FuelCell Energy did issue a press release that it had completed a 14.9 MW fuel cell park for project owner Dominion Resources, which comes with a 15-year contractual energy purchase agreement. Like many of the green energy stocks we reviewed yesterday, FuelCell Energy is certainly making strides to prove its long-term viability, but it'll need to make a serious effort to reduce its losses and generate recurring cash flow before I'm sold that it has what it takes to survive and thrive.

Finally, fuel cell systems developer Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG  ) snuck its way onto the top performers list for a second day in a row with a gain of 12%. While no news was released today that would directly be responsible for moving the share price, Plug Power is likely pushing higher as a continuation move from yesterday when it announced that it had met its order targets for the fourth quarter, which would net it about $32 million in revenue. As I pointed out yesterday, Plug's big-name customers are definitely a plus, but it'll need to make serious strides in reducing its bottom-line losses in 2014 if it hopes to maintain its hefty two-day gains.

This could be the smartest way to play the auto market
U.S. automakers boomed after WWII, but the coming boom in the Chinese auto market will put that surge to shame! As Chinese consumers grow richer, savvy investors can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the help from this brand-new Motley Fool report that identifies two automakers to buy for a surging Chinese market. It's completely free -- just click here to gain access.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (5)

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 January 03, 2014, at 5:42 PM, MarkGunnar wrote:

    Fuel Cell Technology / FCE

    Video below of what is happening in California at municipal wastewater treatment plants using fuel cell technology to produce 3 value streams of electricity, hydrogen and heat all from a human waste! This is pretty impressive in my opinion for hydro-refueling infrastructure.

    "New fuel cell sewage gas station in Orange County, CA may be world's first"

    Construction of world's largest fuel cell power plant. (in South Korea? with USA developed fuel cell technology??)

    Video: DFC ERG Nat Gas Fuel Cell Hybrid - Enbridge Energy / Fuel Cell Energy

    Question: What is the value (in Third World Countries) of taking a human waste and creating 3 value streams of Electricity, Hydrogen and Heat???

    Microsoft Data Plant Strengthens ties to Wyoming

    Dominion Fires Up New Fuel Cell Facility...

    How much will it cost to, not only decommission the Nuke plant in CA. (San Onofre / So Cal Edison) but also to re-supply 1100MW of power going off line? LATIMES reports to decom. the plant is about $7 billion and to re- supply??? Where is the leadership in our Congress or Senate? Everytime a storm rolls through the east coast a tree branch takes down the 50% of the electrical grid?

  • Report this Comment On January 04, 2014, at 2:02 PM, mrconnors0531 wrote:

    Watch the volume on fcel someone is making a move ala Posco of S.Korea maybe. But can our government make them keep this tech at home.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2014, at 2:53 AM, Mel101 wrote:

    Mel101 from Kent,Ct: I like Plug Power Inc. (PLUG): NasdaqCM. It used to be$11.50 on Oct 12,2009 & it is $3.07 now. It is rising again. Latham, is a tech valley from way back. The area is extremely modern & booming.They already have products. & above all I look at the pay scales of the ones in charge. Or else I will NOT invest. The CEO, President & director Mr. Andrew J. Marsh = a measly $443.7 K (after Obama taxes=???) compared to that Fuel Cell guy $1 mil !! Where his company is surrounded by....Danbury , Ct An area where the police station is the cherry on top of what? that area?? Don't walk there after sundown !! But my #1 choice is Paid Inc.: (PAYD) OTCQB. It has been around since the start of the internet. It has SEVERAL patents....their own (NOT BOUGHT & "not a patent pariah") . created by Mr. Rothman who sold baseball cards, memorabilia, with his son. I think he made approximately $27K or $37 K per year... fast forward to eBay ...He goes to eBay & shows eBay how to streamline ideas of how to streamline multiple orders (NOT 1 at a time at the checkout), then streamline taxing the orders etc. etc. They took a look at his ideas then turned him down!...then FAST FORWARD to December 20th, 2013 ...(after eBay ate Tiffany's LUNCH ) its Paid Inc. turn to sue ...Paid Inc.vs eBay Inc. in the Worcester Office of US District Court of Massachusetts, The Judge is Timothy S. Hillman. the case is 15:1126 (= Patent infringement). actually 3 of their many patents!!! scribd is down now I cannot get the "actual court docs", according to the Worcester office 1-(508)-929-9900 at 595 main Street , the case# 13-cv-40151 has many papers, there are a lot of docs.

    But my favorite purchase for decades is from Chicago, Il the iNet Telebouncer Tb 1000 !!! For myself this works!! NO more robo calls !!! Quiet at last!! ( do not record over the gruff sounding man.. you will lose it forever! ). It has a telemarketing mode, and a caller ID mode after 1 ring it switches to telemarketing mode & OF COURSE a computer cannot press "1" to continue to be connected. I FINALLY have my sleep back!! Telemarketing is way up this past year ! That the US government announced $25,000 (FTC) if "ANYONE" can solve this case & make something, produce something that will end all this craziness of phone calls coming in all hours of the night & day! Phone numbers put out by sophisticated computers = computer dialed phone numbers, where there are multiple phone numbers!!! Hundreds!! =robo-calling. I will follow up with the new (under 1 year old ) Panasonic 250 phone number blocker! Versus my 30# Panasonic blocker!) It was easy to connect it took a few seconds... the 1st time the phone rings 1X under the telemarketing mode then after the computer" LARNS" your lines & system (yup! it teaches itself the mhz in your 1 bedroom NYC & 1 phone line (single phone entry line) & computer internet phone line apt.(doesNOT disrupt the phone line access internet. (For multiple lines put it in the main line (or you may further need a knowledgeable & professional electrician if your lines are complicated). I will be monitoring my penny biostocks tomorrow.

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2014, at 3:14 AM, Mel101 wrote:

    Mel101 spelling correction:"LEARNS" the telebouncer "LEARNS" & actually teaches itself your phone line connection. It is made by Dasym ( now defunct company their Patent ran out supposedly according to iNet ). So the next batch will have to have another name. It was made by a Danish genius + another helper along with 28 employees ...but of course they both left for HIGHER GROUNDS.

    Also note that Paid Inc. was a company way back in the 1990's bought by a New Yorker. He foresaw the internet business...I hope he still has ownership so he can see eBay squirm, when hopefully they win & my stocks go up. I will keep an eye on it. Paid Inc. has a team of like 4 or 5 lawyers a few days (1 week?) ago Carl Icahn called the eBay CEO to sell / or split up PAY PAL (part of the lawsuit patent infringements right eBAY??? are you reading this eBAY...tee hee...squirm ...squirm..=))) ... anyway =)) uh....oh, live on tv the stock watch business channel , the CEO of eBay came on the show NEVER announcing or NEVER mentioning the Paid Inc. lawsuit in Worcester, Massachusetts to the tv audience ... never once mentioning why Carl ICahn wanted him to split up Pay Pal with eBay etc.

Add your comment.

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: 2782939, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2015 3:53:29 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...

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 in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

Today's Market

updated 6 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,654.77 369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 47.15 2.43%
NASD 4,812.71 115.17 2.45%

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

8/27/2015 4:35 PM
^GSPC $1987.66 Up +47.15 +2.43%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
F $13.56 Up +0.35 +2.65%
Ford CAPS Rating: ****
FCEL $0.74 Up +0.01 +1.91%
FuelCell Energy, I… CAPS Rating: *
FEYE $39.09 Up +0.94 +2.46%
FireEye CAPS Rating: ****
PLUG $1.75 Up +0.03 +1.74%
Plug Power, Inc. CAPS Rating: *