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Today's 3 Best Stocks

Sean Williams
March 8, 2013

It was all about jobs once again today, as the broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) vaulted to its sixth consecutive gain, tacking on 6.92 points (0.45%), to close at 1,551.18.

Economists had been anticipating a strong employment report after the ADP employment report on Wednesday. The results released today were stronger than many had expected, with a 246,000 jump in non-farm payrolls, and the unemployment level ticking down 0.2%, to 7.7%, its lowest level in four years. Continued improvement in the unemployment rate could signal to the Federal Reserve that it's safe to end its $85 billion monthly Treasury and mortgage bond purchases, and potentially even consider raising lending target rates.

Today's top performer was tax specialist H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), which reported its third-quarter results after the bell last night. Oddly enough, the $0.22 per-share loss was considerably worse than the $0.03 loss that Wall Street was expecting; but it was comments made by CEO Bill Cobb that tax filings should grow by 1%-2% this year that got investors excited. Part of H&R Block's woes relate to the late start to this year's tax season, but I still remain more concerned about whether or not it can bite into Intuit's (NASDAQ: INTU) TurboTax market share. Intuit beat H&R Block to the do-it-yourself tax market years ago, and H&R Block has been playing catch-up ever since. Despite H&R Block's 9.2% rise today, I'm not impressed.

Big box retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) continued to annoy short-sellers, by ascending an additional 4.7%, an