U.S. markets struggled today as the impasse in Greece continued for yet another day, and bond yields were once again back as a source of concern to traders.
Stocks began the day well into the red, but trimmed some of those losses when Reuters reported that the Greek government is now ready to submit some new counterproposals to break the stalemate. Greek officials were making bold statements about reaching an agreement by next week, but this is not the first time they have been prone to hyperbole.
In economic news, the May Producer Price index came in at 0.5% higher, exceeding estimates for 0.4%, and the largest PPI number since 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.8%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.7% and the Nasdaq lost 0.6%. All sectors were losing ground today, but telecommunications stocks were at least near the flat line.
A handful of stocks were still shining brightly however. Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (LL), ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ESI) and Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (FOLD) were all solid, and are three of today’s best stocks.
Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (LL )
Oh, how Wall Street loves its rumors. An unfounded rumor that a home improvement retailer, possibly Home Depot (HD), was thinking of acquiring the recently beleaguered flooring retailer sent shares of LL stock soaring today. LL stock was up as much as 12% in the morning before pulling back to finish 4.1% higher.
The rumor was denied by Whitney Tilson of Kase Capital Management, who called it “the dumbest rumor ever,” because nobody knows what LL’s total liabilities are going to be. However, it is also reported that Tilson is a big short seller of LL stock, so that may have influenced his remarks.
ITT Educational Services (ESI)
ESI stock vaulted 13% higher after reporting first-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $230 million, crushing analysts’ estimates of 7 cents a share on $216.6 million.
The U.S. Department of Education has given ESI a June 30 deadline to complete a 2014 compliance audit of its administration of Title IV programs. ESI announced that it is confident it will be able to finish the audit by then.
ESI stock has now doubled since the middle of May.
Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (FOLD)
Amicus stock rose 8% and touched a seven-year high of $14.50 after raising $225 million gross proceeds from a secondary offering of 17 million shares at $13.25 a share. The company had pre-announced it was expecting to raise $150 million, so it far exceeded its initial projections.
Amicus develops treatments for rare diseases, and said the funds will be used to invest in its Galafold (Migalastat hcl) medication, which is used to treat Fabry disease, a rare genetic disorder.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.