Why Baker Hughes, Royal Caribbean, and Dean Foods Jumped Today

By Markets Fool.com

The stock market had a bumpy day on Friday, with substantial early gains disappearing in the wake of news from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that threw a new wrench into the 2016 presidential election campaign. Yet despite those ups and downs, Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI), Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL), and Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) saw their stocks climb sharply. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Baker Hughes gets interest from a potential buyer

Baker Hughes climbed 8% after reports surfaced that the oil services company is in talks with General Electric (NYSE: GE) toward a possible strategic combination. Details about exactly how the two companies would interact weren't immediately available, but some speculate that GE might be looking for ways to divest itself of its oil and gas business.

If that were the case, then a Baker Hughes acquisition of GE assets would allow the oil services company to grow very quickly, although some fear its mix of assets wouldn't be ideal. Other commentators think that General Electric would want to retain its exposure to energy, and therefore would somehow incorporate all or part of the combined business under its own corporate umbrella, perhaps through a joint-venture arrangement. Whatever happens, interest in Baker Hughes has investors excited about the stock.

Royal Caribbean sets sail

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Royal Caribbean Cruises jumped 9% after reporting its third-quarter financials this morning. The cruise line said that adjusted net income rose 10%, to $690.9 million, working out to $3.20 per share, and beating the consensus forecast among investors. In addition, Royal Caribbean said that early bookings for the 2017 cruise season are ahead of where they were at this time last year, and two of the company's new ships have seen strong sales trends indicating solid demand among travelers.

CEO Richard Fain celebrated Royal Caribbean's progress toward doubling return on invested capital, and adjusted earnings per share between 2014 and 2017. Investors were pleased to see the cruise line overcome some industry issues to keep climbing higher.

Dean Foods gets some overseas interest

Finally, Dean Foods climbed 11%. The dairy company reportedly has attracted the interest of China's Hangzhou Wahaha Group, which might look to take over the U.S. producer.

The dairy industry has seen rising levels of consolidation activity recently as companies seek to maximize size and take advantage of economies of scale. Dean, in particular, has an attractive portfolio of brand names that consumers are already familiar with and trust. Moreover, with Dean set to have a new CEO take over at the beginning of 2017, the time is ripe for a would-be acquirer to make an offer for the company.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.