U.S. stocks followed through on yesterday's bullishness, fighting off oil's lackluster performance as other, riskier assets rose while the dollar continued faltering. The S&P 500 rose 0.44% and is now higher by nearly 4% over the past month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.47%, as did the Nasdaq Composite .
Equity investors know the Fed will remain in focus, but other catalysts explain why Metlife Inc (NYSE: MET ), Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU ) and Sonic Corporation (NASDAQ: SONC ) are three of today's best stocks.
Metlife Inc (MET)
Insurance giant Metlife saw its shares climb 5.4% on more than double the average daily volume after a judge ruled the company does not qualify as one of the U.S. financial institutions that is too big to fail.
MET sued the federal government in an effort to have the designation removed. The government can appeal the decision.
Regulators labeled MET as too big to fail, or "systemically important" in government speak, meaning that a collapse of the company would present near certain risk to the U.S. financial system. MET is the largest U.S. life insurance as ranked by assets.
The systemically important designations are part of a government effort to prevent another financial crisis on par with what was seen in 2008.
Even with Wednesday's surge, MET is down more than 7% year-to-date.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU)
Shares of high-end athletic apparel maker Lululemon soared 10.7% on more than five times the average daily volume after the Canadian company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of 85 cents a share. Analysts expected LULU to earn 80 cents per share. LULU's sales checked in at $704.3 million, topping the $693.1 million analysts expected.
Same-store sales for LULU climbed 11% during the quarter, but the company's forecast for the full year is seen as tepid. LULU said it expects to earn $2.05 to $2.15 per share this year, narrowly missing the $2.16 analysts are forecasting. For the current quarter, LULU expects to earn 30 cents a share, well below the 37 cents Wall Street expects.
Sonic Corporation (SONC)
Fast food chain Sonic, which operates drive-in restaurants, climbed 6.2% on more than triple the average daily turnover following bullish fiscal second-quarter results and guidance for the coming year. Oklahoma-based SONC said it expects earnings will grow 25% this year, up from previous guidance calling for 20% growth.
During its fiscal second quarter, SONC earned 18 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates of 16 cents per share. SONC's same-store sales also jumped 6.5% during the quarter, trouncing the 1.6% increase analysts expected.
SONC forecast same-store sales to grow 6% this year, up from a previous estimate of 4% growth.
At the time of this writing, Todd Shriber did not own any of the aforementioned securities.
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