After a day of ups and downs, the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) finished the day in the green by the narrowest of margins. An afternoon surge, though it nearly petered out, was still good enough to tack on half a point to the index, which boosted it by 0.04% over the prior day's close. Small victories, right?
That's not to say that there were no standouts on the S&P 500 today. Eight stocks rose by more than 5%, and 293 of the index's 500 stocks finished the day in positive territory. We can't cover every one of them, but we can take a closer look at the three best stocks on the S&P 500 today.
Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) was today's surprise standout. The high-yielding stock rose 12.8%, beating all other S&P 500 stocks, after Pitney Bowes beat the Street's earnings consensus in a big way by posting earnings of $0.52 per share against the $0.43 consensus. However, revenue was slightly lower than the year-ago quarter's at $1.16 billion and also below the $1.19 consensus. Today's pop, despite the big earnings beat, is a bit inexplicable -- Pitney Bowes now expects revenue of $4.02 billion to $4.06 billion and $1.62 to $1.77 in EPS for the full year, and both come in well below the Street's consensus of $4.83 billion in revenue and $1.85 in EPS. At least, there's good news today. Investors may want to consider stepping back after these gains.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber (NASDAQ:GT) put the pedal to the metal with a standout earnings report, sending shares up by 8.9% for the day. Goodyear's revenue declined year over year to $4.9 billion, but adjusted earnings of $0.76 per share trounced the year-ago quarter's result. Both top and bottom lines beat the Street, which sought $4.8 billion in revenue and $0.48 in EPS. Goodyear's European profit more than doubled, from $19 million a year ago to $51 million for the latest quarter. No region showed diminished earnings -- North American profits were up $16 million, Asian earnings grew by $20 million, and Latin American earnings increased by $24 million. Goodyear has a lot of traction at the moment, and is certainly worth a closer look, if you don't already hold some shares in your portfolio.
Harris Corp. (NYSE:HRS) rounds out the top three gainers today with a 7.8% pop. The government contractor trounced earnings expectations and also beat the top-line consensus despite weaker revenues than the year-ago quarter. Harris' fiscal fourth quarter came in with $1.36 billion in revenue and $1.41 in earnings per share, ahead of both the $1.31 revenue consensus and the $1.15 EPS estimate. The company showed "strong new orders momentum in the international tactical radio market," according to CEO William Brown. Going forward, the company's guidance for its 2014 fiscal year is decent, if not great -- Harris now expects revenues in a rough range of $4.96 billion to $5.06 billion, with EPS coming in at $4.65 to $4.85. That's about in line with the Street's consensus of $5.03 billion in revenue and $4.69 in EPS.
Which stock will top the S&P 500 tomorrow? Tune in to find out!
Fool contributor Alex Planes has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.