Best and worst stocks on the ASX today

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has ended the trading session 0.35% higher following a positive lead from U.S. markets overnight. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 reversed early losses to finish with gains of 0.11% and 0.19% respectively. This after investors brushed aside Ukrainian unrest and poor data from China to focus instead on a strong April U.S. services sector reading.

The Australian market had its own economic data to focus on today, with the release during the afternoon of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision on monetary policy. The RBA announced it would keep the cash rate on hold at its record low rate of 2.5%

All sectors finished higher with the exception of property. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) reversed early losses to help the materials sector to a gain of 0.19%. Health care, information technology and consumer discretionary led the gainers with rises of 0.99%, 0.93% and 0.71% respectively.

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

  • Pacific Brands Limited (ASX: PBG) jumped 6.1% to 52.5 cents
  • Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) rallied 4.5% to $1.04
  • M2 Group Ltd (ASX: MTU) climbed 3.8% to $5.69
  • ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARP) rose 3% to $12.16
  • Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) gained 2.9% to $16.09

These stocks were the losers on the day:

  • Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) sunk 9.1% to 15 cents
  • Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL) lost 3.6% to $1.21
  • Transfield Services Limited (ASX: TSE) fell 3.2% to $1.04
  • Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN) declined 2.3% to 42.5 cents
  • Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) slipped 1.8% to $5.52

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Pacific Brands Ltd.

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