The market trended upward this morning with the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) trading just shy of 1% above it’s opening price on the market this morning. Stocks in the medical,legal and marijuana industry continued their surge today, after making large gains yesterday.

stocks to watch

Apart from Medical Marijuana Inc (PINK:MJNA), HEMP, INC. (PINK:HEMP) and related stocks, the big movers today included Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP), and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM). Here’s why those stocks moved the way they did on this morning’s market.

Medical Marijuana Inc (PINK:MJNA): Yesterday’s boom of near 40% in the value of Medical Marijuana is not being repeated today, but the company’s stock price is still growing at an impressive rate. The firm’s stock was up by more than 4% at time of writing. In the last month the company’s stock has risen by more than 300%.

Medical Marijuana Inc (PINK:MJNA) penny stocks have been incredibly popular on today’s market, with companies like GreenGro Technologies, Inc. (PINK:GRNH) and Cannabis Science Inc (PINK:CBIS) getting in on the action. Those firms are up by 50% and 20% respectively at time of writing.

Penny stocks have long been used in get rich quick schemes, and the addition of a sexy industry like Marijuana into the mix means that more widespread chaos may be caused in the stocks’ prices than investors expect. Though it is likely that some investors will get lucky and make short term returns, they will be lucky rather than smart.

HEMP, INC. (PINK:HEMP): Another Marijuana firms trending up today. Stock in HEMP has risen by more than 50% at time of writing. The firm’s stock has risen by more than 180% in the last two days, and by more than 300% in the last week. It’s another low value stock, currently trading at around $0.122, benefiting from a boom in low value Marijuana related companies.

There was a bubble in Marijuana stocks in the days directly following its November legalization, and there may be another one right now. None of these companies have proven itself capable of making profits that would assert the kind of price the market has placed on them. Investors getting in on the rave in marijuana penny stocks better be able to tell when to get out, a crash is more than likely coming.

Medical Marijuana for example currently has a market cap of more than $300 million. That’s a lot of assets tied up in a company that has never shown itself able to pull in significant profits. There will be some winners in the legal marijuana industry, but it is too early to tell who they will be. The current surge in prices is unstable, and wise investors will stay away. Medical Marijuana is owned to the tune of 0% by financial institutions.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL): The close of the Dell acquisition saga finally came about today, with the involved parties agreeing to make the company private for $24.4 billion. The deal will still have to be agreed by shareholders and will need to be reviewed by regulators before it is finalized.

Dell stock rose a fraction in today’s market as it came to terms with the privatization. At time of writing Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) shares were trading at $13.39, just below the price that the group will pay to send the company private. The Dell privatization is an interesting case in a changing technology market, and investors are interested in seeing where the firm will go from here.

Michael Dell, as expected, was the leader of the acquisition, but Microsoft Corporation got involved too, putting $2 billion into the fray. Stock holders are expected to receive a total of $13.65 per share in cash when the deal closes.

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP): The McGraw-Hill Companies stock is down on the news that the US Department of Justice filed several lawsuits against the company’s Standard & Poors ratings agency after the market closed yesterday. The company’s stock has fallen by just over 5% in trading today on the news.

The DOJ is suing the S&P ratings agency for the ratings it gave mortgages leading up to the US Financial Crisis in 2008 and the years following. The DOJ alleges that Standard and Poor’s improperly rated mortgage bonds in the years leading up to the financial crisis, the company’s model is the central point of the lawsuit.

Though it is impossible to tell what way the lawsuit will go, investors are pricing the chance of a DOJ win, or an unfavorable settlement, to The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP) stock.

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM): After a worse than expected earnings report, shares in Yum! declined by just over 2% today. The firm’s earnings for the last three months of 2012 came in at five percent below expectations, due in a large part to worse than expected performance in China.

That market has been responsible for much of the growth in Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) earnings in recent quarters, and for a great deal of the growth in its stock price. The company has been doing much better than its rivals in China, though today’s earnings report may indicate that growth is slowing, and investors are worried.