Today’s 3 Best Stocks: Tripadvisor Inc (TRIP), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), Genworth Financial Inc (GNW)

It was more of the same today for the overall market — and yet it wasn’t.

The same factors that have been driving the market higher — a very accommodative Federal Reserve, inexpensive stock valuations, and a slowly improving job market — helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an all-time record high. The long-antiquated index has risen around 120% since its lows set in 2009 and is markedly cheaper on a P/E basis than it was when it last hit an all-time record high in 2007.

The broader-market S&P 500 , often seen as a broader and more diverse gauge of the U.S.’s health as it encompasses 500 of America’s largest companies, fed on the overall optimism and finished the day decisively higher by 14.59 points (0.96%) to close at 1,539.79.

Tripadvisor logoThe biggest gainer of the day was trip advisory service Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) which trudged higher by 4.8%. If we’ve learned one thing about consumers since the recession, it’s that they’re generally unwilling to give up their need for a vacation. Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), through their earnings results, have shown exemplary growth in overseas markets despite stringent austerity measures and high unemployment levels plaguing Europe. This bodes well for TripAdvisor, which released a report last week chronicling the findings of its own survey that more Americans are expected to take a domestic flight sometime this year.

Trailing Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) but certainly not a forgotten name in today’s broad-based rally was Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), which tacked on 3.9%. Just yesterday, brokerage firm Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) downgraded Micron to “neutral” on what it perceived to be slowing DRAM demand in the coming months. Micron’s success really is based on the fine line of increasing demand for flash memory being used in smartphones, tablets, and laptops being offset by increased commoditization, which keeps crushing prices. Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is an extremely cyclical company and often not the best type of stock to hold for more than a few years, but I could see the potential for more upside from here.

Finally, Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW) found itself in the winners column yet again, rising 3.3% after Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) upgraded mortgage insurers MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG) and Radian Group Inc (NYSE:RDN) to “overweight” from “underweight” and set individual price targets of $8 and $14 on each company. Barclays notes that the mortgage insurance market is improving and should normalize by 2015. Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE:GNW), which underwrites mortgage insurance, rose in tandem with the sector. However, I’d suggest exercising extreme caution with this sector. As noted by MGIC CEO Curt Culver, the company’s risk-to-capital ratio is a dangerous 44.7:1 and it’s expected to rise even further. While some values in mortgage insurance persist (e.g., Genworth), others like MGIC Investment are train wrecks that could sabotage your portfolio.

The article Today’s 3 Best Stocks originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Sean Williams.

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.The Motley Fool owns shares of TripAdvisor, priceline.com, and Lazard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of TripAdvisor and priceline.com.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The Best B-Boy Movies

Most Awesome Hip Hop Documentaries

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Richest Doctors in the World

The Best Movie Sountracks Ever

The Highest Grossing Musicals on Broadway

The Most Successful Reality TV Stars

Cheapest Cities to Visit in the US

Most Expensive Summer Camps

Most Expensive Animals in the World

Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World

Movies That Took Ages to Make

The Longest Hollywood Films Ever Made

Most Expensive Concert Stages

The Richest Bands of all Time

10 Most Corrupt Countries 2013 List

10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Most Expensive Mattresses in the World

5 Smallest Countries by Land Area

The Ultimate Heartbreak Songs

Richest Teenagers in the World

10 Most Haunted Places in America

10 Best Places to Retire in Florida East Coast

Top 10 Places to See Before You Die

Top 8 Countries in the World Where Justice Prevails

10 Richest States in America

15 Wealthiest Countries in the World

Richest Singers in the World

Most Expensive Tasting Menu in New York City

Most Expensive Baby Items in the World

Most Expensive Hotel Suites in Vegas

Most Expensive Brunch in New York City

Most Expensive Beef Cuts in the World

25 Best Colleges to Get a Job

Top 10 US Supermarkets

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World to Visit

Most Expensive Xbox Games

Top 11 Cities Where Billionaires Live

Top 10 Most Charitable Companies in America

Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The 10 Wildest Conspiracy Theories

The 10 Best Job Markets in the US

Top 10 Accounting Scandals of All Time

The 25 Biggest Cities in the World

Top 10 Best Paying Virtual Jobs

Most Expensive Leather Shoes in the World

Top 6 Things to Buy in March

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America – 2014 List

Top 10 Jobs for Introverted People

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!