High fliers

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The S&P 500’s 5 Best Stocks of 2014

It’s been a choppy start to 2014, but there are a few high-fliers in the S&P 500 worth noting.

  • Network infrastructure play Juniper Networks (JNPR) reported strong earnings and saw some analyst upgrades, sparking a 22% run for the large-cap tech play since Jan. 1.
  • Another networking company, F5 Networks (FFIV), also jumped 19% since New Year’s Day thanks to a similar one-two punch of good numbers and upgrades.
  • Social media giant Facebook (FB) is soaring today after great results and mobile growth, giving the company a 14% gain YTD in 2014.
  • Healthcare stock Boston Scientific (BSX) is up 12% in 2014 thanks to upgrades in anticipation to earnings.
  • Lastly, aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) is up 11% thanks to admittedly weak numbers but results that beat expectations nevertheless thanks to efficiency, hinting the worst might be over for the commodity stock.

The S&P 500 itself is sitting on a 3% loss, making all the index’s best stocks that much more noteworthy.

But just be careful before you plot too much of a trend … volatility has been increasing at it is unclear whether the winners in the first few weeks of 2014 will stay strong through year’s end.

Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Write him at editor@investorplace.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP

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