Best and worst stocks on the ASX today

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has closed almost flat. At the finish the index registered a small gain of 0.05%.

Today’s result followed a positive lead from Wall Street where US markets moved higher overnight. The Dow Jones was up 0.53%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.48% following investor enthusiasm for earnings results from a number of companies.

Locally, investors appeared indecisive as they reacted negatively to a recent broker downgrade to bank shares and a quarterly sales report from Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) which failed to meet expectations.

Sectors were mixed. Telecommunications and health care performed the best with gains of 1.2% and 1% respectively. Consumer discretionary, energy, materials, property and utilities also gained. Industrials and IT were flat, while financials and consumer staples dropped 0.25% and 1.1% respectively.

Here are the top five best performing stocks in the index today:

  • Horizon Oil Ltd (ASX: HZN) rallied 7% to 38 cents
  • Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) jumped 4.6% to $4.33
  • PanAust Limited (ASX: PNA) climbed 4.2% to $1.60
  • Sirius Resources N.L. (ASX: SIR) added 3.9% to $2.69
  • Transfield Services Limited (ASX: TSE) gained 3.8% to 95.5 cents

These stocks were the losers on the day:

  • Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) sunk 5.9% to $1.03
  • Senex Energy Ltd (ASX: SXY) fell 4.3% to 66.5 cents
  • Medusa Mining Limited (ASX: MML) lost 4% to $1.80
  • Evolution FPO (ASX: EVN) dropped 3.9% to 85.5 cents
  • Skilled Group Ltd. (ASX: SKE) slipped 3.5% to $2.74

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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