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Why these 4 ASX shares have SMASHED the market today

It has been another underwhelming day for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO). In afternoon trade the benchmark index is lower by 0.2% to 5,749 points thanks largely to heavy declines in the energy and materials sectors.

Not all shares have dropped lower today though. In fact, four shares in particular have made notably strong gains today. Here’s why:

The Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) share price has jumped 5% to $1.74. Today’s gain means the entertainment company’s shares have now climbed around 12% since the company provided an update on the performance of its theme parks on Tuesday. Although revenue and visitor numbers in February were still lower than the prior corresponding period, they were a big improvement on December and January’s numbers. I think this could be an opportune time to snap up its shares.

The Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) share price has surged around 5.5% to 47 cents today despite there being no news out the company. The shares of this leading lithium miner have fallen sharply in the last month due to concerns over reports of increasing supply. Whilst supply is expected to increase strongly over the next few years, I believe the incredible demand for lithium’s use in batteries for smartphones and electric vehicles will help sustain current high prices.

The Tatts Group Limited (ASX: TTS) share price has climbed 3% to $4.20 after the ACCC released a statement of issues in relation to its proposed merger with Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX: TAH). Tabcorp’s management believes it is well advanced in addressing the issues identified by the ACCC. Judging by the market’s reaction, investors appear to believe this will be enough to receive approval.

The Zelda Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ZLD) share price has rocketed a staggering 39% to 7.1 cents. Although there was no news out of the fledgling medical marijuana company today, interest in the sector has grown strongly since the government announced plans to loosen regulations around the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of chronic pain and cancer patients. This has caused the majority of “pot stocks” to rally significantly higher.

Missed out on gains? Don't worry because these hot growth stocks could be just what your portfolio needs to take it higher.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy In 2017

For many, blue chip stocks means stability, profitability and regular dividends, often full franked..

But knowing which blue chips to buy, and when, can often be fraught with danger.

The Motley Fool's in-house analyst team has poured over thousands of hours worth of proprietary research to bring you the names of "The Motley Fool's Top 3 Blue Chip Stocks for 2017."

Each one pays a fully franked dividend. Each one has not only grown its profits, but has also grown its dividend. One increased it by a whopping 33%, while another trades on a grossed up (fully franked) dividend yield of almost 7%.

If you're expecting to see the likes of Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and Wesfarmers shares on this list, you'll be sorely disappointed. Not only are their dividends growing at a snail's pace, their profits are under pressure too due to the increasing competitive environment.

The contrast to these "new breed" blue chips couldn't be greater... especially the very real prospect of significant share price gains, something that's looking less likely from the usual blue chip suspects.

The names of these Top 3 ASX Blue Chips are included in this specially prepared free report. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand - and how quickly the share prices of these companies moves - we may be forced to remove this report.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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