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Today's 3 Best Stocks

Sean Williams
April 19, 2013

With no economic data on the docket, investors relied on the ramp-up in second-quarter earnings to drive the broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) noticeably higher today.

Largely ignoring the disappointing results from IBM, which were a major drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, reports from the tech sector, especially Google, helped push the overall market higher. Google, which acts as a good gauge of enterprise activity and advertising, saw its revenue soar by 31.2% (21.7% excluding its Motorola acquisition), while total traffic acquisition costs rose by just 18%. Ad revenue continues to be a sticking point, but Google's strength was enough to lift the tech sector and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

For the day, the S&P 500 ended higher by 13.64 points (0.88%), to close at 1,555.25. As you might expect, many of today's top performers were fueled by better-than-expected earnings reports.

Today's top performer was fresh-Mex casual dining chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), which rose 11.5% after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter results. For the quarter, revenue rose 13%, to $726.8 million; however, this was mostly the result of new store openings. Same-store sales for the chain rose by just 1%. Profit jumped to $2.45 per share, well ahead of estimates and significantly higher than the $1.97 it reported in the year-ago period. Following the report, brokerage firm Northland Securities upgraded Chipotle to "buy," and upped its price target to $400. As f