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Today's 3 Best Stocks

Sean Williams
March 7, 2013

The broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) continues to demonstrate supernatural powers, vaulting higher for a fifth consecutive day. Favorable economic data provided the spark that lifted the index, yet again, with initial jobless claims falling another 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 from the previous week. With claims nearing a multi-year low, it provides another visible signal that the economy is on the mend, and that unemployment rates should shortly begin improving, assuming this trend keeps up.

For the day, the S&P 500 tacked on 2.80 points (0.18%), to finish at yet another multi-year high, 1,544.26. A quick glance of today's top performers within the S&P 500 reveals that it was just a technology and oil exploration and production kind of day!

Today's top performance within the index was turned in by fiber-optic products supplier JDS Uniphase, (NASDAQ: JDSU) which leapt 7.6%. It actually wasn't JDS' doing at all, but rival Ciena (NASDAQ: CIEN), which trumped Wall Street's estimates in the first-quarter by reporting a $0.12 per-share profit versus an expected loss of $0.14. Furthermore, Ciena's full-year sales forecast of $465 million to $495 million was well within the gambit that analysts had expected. This is a simple case of what's good for the goose, is good for the gander. Ciena, notoriously streaky come earnings time, seems to be showing considerable stability in demand from service providers, which should bode well when it comes time for JDS Uniphase to report its quarterly results.

Following fiber to the upside, is troubled microprocessor company Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), which gained 5.4%. Despite weakening PC sales, AMD's shares appear to have bottomed out on a mixture of optimism that its cost reductions will yield profitable results