Why American Capital Ltd., Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Micron Technology Inc. are Today's 3 Best Stocks

Comments from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen help stocks across the market rise

Mar 31, 2014 at 5:15PM

Daily FoolReassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen helped the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) race to a 0.8% gain on the last day of March. The index closed at just over 1,872, capping off a so-so month for the markets. Still, it's been a great run for the S&P 500 after the downbeat start to the year: Since early February, the index has picked up more than 7% and has investors feeling much more confident about the market's momentum.

Speaking in Chicago today, Yellen cited ongoing weakness in the American economic picture even with the recent recovery in the jobs market. Investors inferred that Yellen's reference to weak wage growth and declining labor force participation, among other matters, allows for plenty more room for the Fed to continue its post-recession history of low interest rates.

We'll get a much better picture of just how well the economy is rolling along come Friday, when the Department of Labor is set to release the jobs report for March. Economists on average predict a gain of about 200,000 jobs this month, which would improve substantially on February's 175,000-job gain.

Still, the S&P 500 and the market's biggest gainers weren't looking too far ahead today. American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS) shares jumped higher by 11.2% on a day of few huge movers on the market, while biotech stock Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) climbed 9.7%. Among larger-cap stocks, Micron Techology (NASDAQ:MU) shares gained more than 7.5%.

American Capital shareholders announced that it had repurchased 8.9 million of its shares in the first quarter; more importantly, the business developer is halting its share repurchase program. The stock has shed more than 1% over the past year despite the market's great gains. As fellow Fool analyst Jordan Wathen notes, American Capital's buyback plan hasn't helped the company trade at a higher value, and its lack of a dividend puts it a disadvantage against the competition. Ending a plan that hasn't paid off and pursuing a more aggressive course of maximizing its value could be the company's next step from here.

Alnylam bounced back today in a relief to investors who have weathered a terrible month from this developmental biotech stock.


Despite a huge gain over the past year, Alnylam's shares have collapsed by more than 22% in the past month. That hasn't waved off interest from Big Pharma: Just this past week, Sanofi's (NYSE:SNY) Genzyme unit invested a further $23 million into the company, bolstering its original $700 million investment. Alnylam's clinical-stage transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis treatment patisiran is the drug furthest along in the company's pipeline, having entered phase 3 trials last November after scoring strong phase 2 results. It'll be a while before any conclusive findings emerge from late-stage studies, but keep an eye on the drug: J.P. Morgan projected in January that patisiran, if approved, could evenually rake in $700 million in peak sales annually.

Finally, Micron hit a high today among bigger-name stocks ahead of its earnings release this Thursday. While Micron made news for being added to the growth stock index Barron's 400, investors likely are looking forward to the company's results. Analysts project a big turnaround from last year, when the company reported a $0.28 per-share loss in the quarter ending Feb. 14. Analysts on average project earnings per share of $0.74 for this quarter. If Micron can ward off concerns over the possibility of falling prices in the memory market and capitalize on demand from the mobile market, it could surprise investors.

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Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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