On many occasions over the past nine years, the stock market has dealt investors a head fake. Tuesday's up-and-down performance for major benchmarks proved to be another such move, and Wednesday brought new strength to investor sentiment that helped send the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite to records. The Dow in particular posted gains of more than 300 points, easily topping the 26,000 level, while the S&P finished above 2,800 for the first time ever. Some stocks contributed even more to the rally, and Boeing (NYSE: BA), ASML Holding (NASDAQ: ASML), and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Boeing can't stop flying
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Shares of Boeing rose another 5%, leading the Dow higher yet again. As aircraft orders have poured in, Boeing has identified potential production bottlenecks, and the aerospace giant took action to fix one such problem by announcing a joint venture with car seating supplier Adient (NYSE: ADNT). Under the agreement, the new Adient Aerospace venture will produce and sell seats to airlines and other aerospace customers. Boeing hopes that the move will help it avoid the costly delays in aircraft deliveries that traditional aviation seat manufacturers have caused, and even though Adient will hold the majority stake in the venture, Boeing shareholders hope that strategic moves like this will help keep the aerospace giant flying higher throughout 2018.
ASML has a good fourth quarter
ASML Holding stock was higher by 7% after reporting strong financial results in its fourth-quarter report. The supplier of equipment for the semiconductor industry said that its 2017 full-year revenue jumped by a third from 2016 levels, helping to lift net income by nearly 50% from the previous year. Demand for the company's lithography systems has been so strong that customers have requested early delivery, and that helped boost ASML's fourth-quarter revenue considerably. Yet despite the pulling forward of sales, ASML's outlook for the first quarter of 2018 was also favorable, and the company appears to be in position to take full advantage of good conditions in semiconductor manufacturing.
Ericsson announces 5G product launch
Finally, shares of Ericsson picked up 6%. The Swedish telecom company released its 5G Radio Dot product, which it hopes customers will use for enhanced mobile broadband and improved indoor connectivity. Ericsson boasts that its solution takes less than half the time to install compared to competitors' products, but more importantly, the Radio Dot should play a key role in the ongoing evolution of Ericsson's broader suite of enterprise networking products. As customers clamor to optimize their 5G wireless technology infrastructure, Ericsson is gearing up to be the go-to provider of effective solutions for its client base.
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