Tickers in this Article: S, PCS, SNDK, DPS, PTV, GS, WMT
The stock market had a brutal performance in May 2010, as worries regarding European sovereign debt risk occupied investors' minds during the month. Despite an 8% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during the month, some stocks moved higher and rewarded those investors who were either lucky or smart to own these names. IN PICTURES: How To Make Your First $1 Million

Wireless Wins
Sprint Nextel
(NYSE:S) was up 17% in May 2010, as the company benefited from multiple factors. Sprint Nextel announced the rollout of the first 4G phone, and also signed a deal with Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) to provide prepaid mobile service at Wal-Mart's store base. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) also upgraded the company from neutral to buy, as the analyst believes that Sprint Nextel will benefit from less churn of its subscriber base going forward.

Despite being one of the best performing stock in May, the company has a long way to go to make things up to long term investors, as Sprint Nextel previously traded as high as the mid-$20 range back in 2007.

MetroPCS Communications (NYSE:PCS), another wireless carrier, also performed well in May, and ended the month up by 15%. The company saw a benefit from the higher growth rates in pre paid service, and has been adding subscribers faster than many investors expected.

Solid Gains
SanDisk Corp
(Nasdaq:SNDK) was up 11% in May. The company got a lift from sales of the iPad, made by Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), as SanDisk is one of the major suppliers of chips for this new product. This and other strong business trends have led the company to increase guidance on gross margins as well.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE:DPS) reported better-than-expected earnings in its first quarter of fiscal 2010, and moved 10% higher during the month. The company also raised its guidance for the full year to a range of $2.29 to $2.37 per share. Dr Pepper Snapple Group even felt confident enough to raise its dividend to 25 cents per share, up 67%.

Surviving the Carnage
Pactiv Corp
(NYSE:PTV) moved 10% higher in May, as rumors flooded the market that several buyout firms were considering bids on this packaging company. Although no firm offers had materialized as of the end of month, the stock survived the carnage that hit most of its peers during the month. Investors in Pactiv Corp, however, are not a loyal bunch, and the stock price started to slip while the market waits for an announcement. (Learn more about buyout firms, see: How The Big Boys Buy.)

Bottom Line
May was such a painful month for investors that it might be surprising to know that some stocks were actually up for the month. The returns here rewarded investors that did research and didn't follow the herd.


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