The Ten Best S&P Stocks of October (SPY, JNPR, NBR, FFIV, DNR, HAR, JOYG, NOV, VLO, GT, EP)

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The month of October was a solid month for stocks, one of the best months of our lifetimes.  We have two groups today and the first is the stocks which rose the most in the S&P 500 Index from the end of September to the end of October.  The moves were more than impressive and the top ten had to rise more than 36% to even be in the screen from Capital IQ.

The SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) rose by 10.9%. but the gain from trough to peak was far more.  We have offered some color on each and shown how much implied upside is there to the Thomson Reuters consensus analyst price target as well.  These gainers are listed lowest to highest on a percentage basis for the month.

Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE: DNR) rose by 36.5% as shares rose from $11.50 to $15.70. Analysts have a consensus price target of $24.40. The company acquires and develops oil and gas properties in the Gulf Coast states.  The company announced a $500 million share buyback during October, but it also announced that its President & COO has left the company.

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO) saw a 38.4% gain as the stock rose from $17.78 at the end of September to $24.60 at the end of October.  Analysts have a consensus price target of $31.50.  Valero was the subject of buyout speculation and its shares have not really sold off after word came that one rumored acquirer was not looking o acquire it.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) saw a 39.3% rise from $51.22 at the end of September to $71.33 at October’s end.  Analysts have a consensus price target of $89.75. If the offshore oil market is going to be opened back up, having a an offshore rig manufacturing business is going to be robust again.

Joy Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JOYG) saw a gain of 39.8% from $62.38 on September 30 up to $87.20 at the end of October.  Analysts have a consensus price target of $102.00.

Juniper Networks, Inc. NYSE: JNPR) rose by 41.8% in October $24.47 versus $17.26.  The turnaround in networking is being seen in the stock. Analysts have a consensus price target of $25.03. Juniper has risen off of lows just as many other networking equipment players have seen.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) rolled on and on for a 42.3% gain as shares went from $10.09 at the end of September to $14.36 at the end of October.  Analysts have a consensus price target of $18.69.  Goodyear is back to profits and shares are actually still very cheap at about 7-times a blended forward P/E for 2011 and 2012 estimates.

El Paso Corp. (NYSE: EP) saw a 43.1% gain for the month but we would not that this is due mostly to the acquisition of the company.

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) had a very large run as the network equipment player bounced hard off its lows.  A move from $71.05 at the end of September to $103.95 was up 46.3%. Analysts have a consensus price target of $106.67.

Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) was one of the top performers for October as the shares rose from $12.26 to $18.33, generating a 49.5% gain. The $100 million payout for the CEO exit is under criticism, but the oil and gas driller did beat earnings and has reorganized its management structure.  Analysts have a consensus price target of $27.33.

Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR) saw a rise of 51.5% as the stock rose from $28.53 on a dividend-adjusted basis up to $43.16. Analysts have a consensus price target of $47.25.  In late October came word of higher 2012 guidance as well as a buyback of up to $200 million in its stock over the next year.

JON C. OGG

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