Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Today’s 3 Best Stocks: First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), Moody’s Corporation (MCO), CSX Corporation (CSX)

Have you ever had a “case of the Mondays”> Well, the S&P 500 certainly does today, with no economic news and relatively few earnings reports moving the market. Overall, the broad-based index has been vacillating within a very tight four-point range as modest profit-taking pushed the index slightly lower throughout the session. On the day, the S&P 500 finished fractionally lower by 0.92 points (-0.06%) to close at 1,517.01.

However, today’s tiny move meant little for three companies within the index that had noticeably stronger moves higher. Here’s a glimpse at today’s three best stocks within the S&P 500.

First Solar (FSLR)Solar-module manufacturer First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) once again found itself atop the biggest gainers, with a 6.5% move higher. While no specific news on First Solar sent the company higher, a mixture of soft guidance from SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) last week, coupled with the continued pricing struggles of Chinese solar manufacturers, leads investors to believe that First Solar is picking up momentum and market share. First Solar has had moderate success in landing large projects in the U.S. in recent months, and that could translate into at least some near-term cash flow stability.

Credit rating agency The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP) , and even its peer Moody’s Corporation (NYSE:MCO) , are rallying 4% and 5%, respectively, after taking a nasty tumble in the prior week. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the reason the U.S. Department of Justice didn’t go after Moody’s in its $5 billion lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s (a division of McGraw-Hill) is that it didn’t leave a blatant email paper trail like that which was found at S&P. The rally from Moody’s looks strictly like a sigh of relief that it’s unlikely to be charged with any wrongdoing. As for McGraw-Hill, the rally today could be from investors who realize that many of these lawsuits are settled out of court for much less than the DOJ is seeking. Having shaved $5 billion in market value off its share price already, the move lower in McGraw-Hill’s share price might be a big overreaction.

Finally, railroad operator CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX) jumped 3% after a Barron’s article over the weekend spoke optimistically of the company’s prospects. Cited in the article was a mixture of stabilizing coal prices and tight cost controls, as well as share repurchases, which stand to benefit CSX’s bottom line. Two points that I wouldn’t forget about are (1) CSX’s steadily growing dividend that earned it the designation as a great dividend stock you can buy right now from me, and (2) its roll in coal exports. Speaking of the second point, coal companies are turning to exports to stabilize production demand, and CSX should see an increase in rail demand as a result. I don’t always agree with Barron’s, but in this case I think they’ve hit on some key growth drivers for CSX moving forward.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.