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Today's 3 Best Stocks

Sean Williams
May 20, 2013

It was certainly a topsy-turvy day for the broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC), with profit-takers battling against optimistic merger and acquisition advocates all day long.

As is to be expected from a market that's gone almost precipitously higher, profit-sellers did everything they could to take charge and send the markets lower today. However, Internet advertising giant Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) had other plans, announcing before the bell that it was going to acquire media network Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The addition of Tumblr is expected to grow Yahoo!'s audience by 50% and could be the major boost Yahoo! needs to get more mobile viewers and reverse a trend of weakening ad revenue. Even more than that, M&A activity in excess of $1 billion in value is viewed as a sign of strength in the economy, as it signals to investors that companies are looking to expand.

When the battle was over, the pessimists had won -- albeit by a small margin. For the day, the S&P 500 finished lower by 1.18 points (-0.07%) to close at 1,666.29. Despite the fractional move lower, the following three companies shot higher like a rocket.

Shining brighter than the rest of the pack, yet again, was solar panel producer First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), which tacked on 9.8% across a broad rally in the solar sector after rival JA Solar topped earnings estimates. Solar panel prices and production costs are finally coming into perfect alignment, where upgrading to solar panels is making sense for more and more businesses and government agencies. First Solar, though, has the unique advantage of being very well capitalized, unlike many of i