Although today was relatively light on economic news, that doesn't mean we didn't have a few key stories moving the market. As my Foolish colleague John Maxfield noted earlier, homebuilder sentiment improved to hit levels not seen since 2006 and renewed optimism that a bottom may finally be in for that sector. Conversely, a profit forecast cut from logistics company FedEx (NYSE: FDX) proved an insurmountable negative for two of three indexes. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) subsequently ended the day down 1.87 points (0.13%) to 1459.32. Let's have a look at what stocks most influenced the S&P 500 today.
Companies that helped the S&P 500
Hospital and outpatient-care operator Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) continued its rally, tacking on another 3%, following positive analyst comments at Raymond James. The covering analyst notes that Tenet could add $5 per share to its current valuation (about 82%) over the next three years if it were to refinance its debt and monetize its revenue cycle management subsidiary Conifer Health Solutions. The analyst, John Ransom, estimates that Tenet could save $140 million a year by refinancing its debt at current rates and a partnership with Catholic Health Initiatives for Conifer could boost revenue to $700 million by 2015 from its current $430 million.
Network equipment maker F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV) also benefited from positive analyst comments, ending the day up 4%. Topeka Capital analyst Brian White noted the potential for F5 to take significant market-share gains from Cisco Systems in ACE load-balancing products, as Cisco transitions away from making them. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst, Eric Bleeker, recently gave his take on why F5 is a buy.
Companies that hindered the S&P 500
As I mentioned, nothing sent the markets into a tailspin more than the profit forecast shortfall from logistics giant FedEx. The company blamed an increase in shipments by water and a global demand slowdown for much of its recent weakness, lowering its full-year EPS outlook to a range of $6.20-$6.60 from a previous outlook of$6.90-$7.40. As a gauge of global economic health, today's forecast doesn't seem to support optimists' thesis that global weakness is leveling off.
However, the "disaster du jour" of Tuesday goes to Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), which lost nearly 10% and noted that its former interim CEO and current chief financial officer, Thomas Seifert, is resigning. AMD noted that the resignation was made on good terms, but it still doesn't sit well with investors who have been waiting years for AMD to turn its struggling business around. As my Foolish colleague Anders Bylund opined today, something just doesn't quite smell right at AMD.
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Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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