U.S. markets roared to life today, with the Nasdaq finally rising above an intraday high of 5132.52 set back in March, 2000. Today’s rally was sparked by ongoing dovish comments made by the Fed, and Janet Yellen in particular, yesterday.
The rally was broad-based and overlooked more discouraging news from the talks between Greece and the eurozone leaders. While they were unable to reach a deal on Thursday, leaders vowed to try again this coming Monday. In the final hour there was even a report, later denied, that the ECB wasn’t sure if Greek banks would be able to open on Monday.
In other economic news, the largest increase in over two years for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had bond yields moving higher again, with increasing gasoline prices fingered as the main catalyst. The Labor Department reported that May CPI was 0.4% higher than in April. But economists were expecting a 0.5% rise, so nobody was particularly troubled by the reading.
In addition, the Labor Department reported that weekly claims for state unemployment benefits fell 12,000 to 267,000 for the week ending June 13, about 8,000 more than expected by economists.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both finished 1% higher, while the Nasdaq rose more than 1.3%. There was nothing but green among the sectors today, and healthcare was the best of a strong bunch.
Speaking of the best, Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG), PBF Energy Inc (NYSE:PBF) and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRN) are an interesting and diversified mix comprising 3 of Today’s Best Stocks. Here’s the whole story behind their excellent performances:
Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG)
Investors went “hog wild” today after motorcycle company Harley Davidson said their board approved a plan to buy back up to 15 million shares of HOG stock, on top of the 20 million shares already approved for buyback last year, only 4.1 million of which have actually been purchased. HOG stock rose 4% on the day.
UBS AG upgraded HOG stock to “Buy” from “Neutral”, and raised its price target to $63 from $60.
HOG stock has struggled during 2015, falling in price from $65 in late January, to a low near $53 last week. But UBS feels that at current levels, and given the buyback program, HOG is now a good value.
PBF Energy Inc (PBF)
The Chalmette refinery is located in Louisiana and puts out about 189,000 barrels of oil per day, giving PBF a total capacity of over 725,000 barrels daily.
PBF stock gained back nearly 14%, or two months’ worth of declines in one day alone, following this announcement. In stark contrast to drillers, oil refiners tend to suffer pressured margins as oil prices rise.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN)
BMRN stock jumped 12% higher today after reporting positive Phase II treatment data on 26 children with achondroplasia (dwarfism) who were given the drug, Vosoritide. The children studied showed a mean increase of 50% annual growth following administration of the treatments.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already granted “orphan drug” status to BioMarin for this treatment. The hope for the future is that increased dosages, if proven safe, may allow these children to catch up in growth rates with healthy peers.
Cowen Group Inc (NASDAQ:COWN) is maintaining their Outperform rating on BioMarin, and estimates the potential market for Vosoritide to be $1 billion, easily making it the top-selling drug for BioMarin, which had $751 million in revenue last year.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.