Why Baidu, First Solar, and Alpha Natural Resources Jumped Today

Stocks bounced back from two straight losing sessions, but broad-market gains were modest compared to how these three stocks did. Find out more about what made them soar.

Apr 8, 2014 at 8:05PM

The stock market bounced back Tuesday, showing modest gains after two straight days of dramatic losses. The tech-heavy Nasdaq got most of the benefit from the bounce, climbing almost 1%, while other market indexes had to make do with much smaller gains. Nevertheless, for investors in Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), and Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), today's gains were especially sweet, as those stocks were among the best performers in the market Tuesday.

Baidu gained 5% on a strong day for Chinese stocks in general, with the added bonus of reports of a possible deal between its Qunar travel website and industry rival Ctrip.com International (NASDAQ:CTRP). Although discussions are reportedly at an early stage and could involve anything from a takeover to a strategic partnership, Baidu could benefit greatly from taking a bigger role in the online travel industry. As more Chinese residents become more prosperous and can afford to travel, the online trip-planning portal will be increasingly lucrative. Moreover, using Baidu's search prowess will give any combined entity a valuable competitive advantage.


First Solar rose 7%, leading all of its peers in the S&P. The momentum-sensitive stock gained back all the ground it lost late last week and yesterday, as shareholders look favorably on the combination of First Solar's strong presence in the utility-scale solar market and the company's new plans to work itself into the residential and small-commercial market. Despite concerns about the sustainability of utility-scale project sales, First Solar has the financial resources and the experience to challenge its solar rivals. Still, bullish investors will want to watch closely to make sure that First Solar's ambitious earnings guidance for the next few years won't prove unreachable.

Alpha Natural Resources also picked up 7%, with coal stocks in general reacting favorably to positive comments from various players in the industry. Today another of Alpha Natural's peers raised its guidance for coal production by roughly 3%, citing higher demand for thermal coal used for electricity production. The outlook for metallurgical coal used in steel production isn't yet as strong, but today's positive performance in China could also change that outlook in the long run. With Alpha Natural Resources beaten down recently, even a glimmer of good news could be enough to keep it and the rest of the sector moving higher for the foreseeable future.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Baidu and Ctrip.com International. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu. 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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