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Why these 5 stocks are thumping the ASX today

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The Australian sharemarket is on fire today with the benchmark index, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), up 1.4% at 5,554 points, helping to reverse some of the damage inflicted on investors’ portfolios over the last two months.

While it is the banks and miners doing most of the heavy lifting, there are a number of stocks posting far greater gains today, including these five.

STW Communications Group Ltd. (ASX: SGN) is the top performing stock from the ASX 200 group today, rising 8.6% to 63 cents following yesterday’s 6.4% gain. The communications group provided an update on its strategic and operational review yesterday, stating that it has identified a number of initiatives to improve the company’s overall performance. Credit Suisse has subsequently upgraded its stance on the stock from neutral to outperform.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) has jumped 5.2% to trade at $2.45 after the iron ore price surged above US$65 a tonne overnight. The commodity has now regained more than 40% since it hit a 10-year low in April, offering some much needed relief for the nation’s high-cost operators.

BC Iron Limited (ASX: BCI) has also benefited from the overnight rally, climbing just over 7%.

Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) was sold off by investors yesterday following weak consumer confidence data from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment, but it has jumped 2.8% today to trade at $4.75. The gain could be attributed to the strong jobs data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed that 42,000 new jobs had been created in May. That could suggest greater consumer spending in the future which bodes well for the retailers.

Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) appears to be back on the market’s agenda following a sharp sell-off which saw the stock drop 18.4% over the last fortnight. The retailer, which owns brands such as Gloria Jean’s and Pizza Capers, recently booked an $18.5 million impairment most of which will be accounted for in the financial reports for this financial year (thus impacting profits). In my opinion, the stock had become oversold and the market is now reaching the same conclusion, bidding the shares 5.5% higher to $5.80.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of June 30th

Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ASXvalueinvest.

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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