Why BlackBerry, Ulta Salon, and Advanced Micro Devices Jumped Today

Wednesday continued the New Year's rally on Wall Street, as the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all rose to record highs. A lack of market-moving news essentially left investors carrying positive momentum forward from 2017, and the minutes released from the Federal Reserve's monetary policy body suggested continued strength in the U.S. economy. Global markets also performed well. Among individual companies, BlackBerry (NYSE: BB), Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA), and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.

BlackBerry makes a deal

Shares of BlackBerry climbed 13% after the mobile device pioneer announced a partnership with a key Chinese internet company. Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) and BlackBerry will work together to develop connected and autonomous vehicle technology more quickly, with the goal of providing systems for auto manufacturers and suppliers across the globe. BlackBerry's safety operating system will be a the foundation of Baidu's open platform for self-driving vehicles, and Baidu's smartphone integration software and conversational artificial intelligence system will work alongside BlackBerry's car entertainment and information platform. The move further extends BlackBerry's expertise beyond mobile devices, and investors are pleased with the progress that the company has made in recent years.

Ulta looks prettier

Ulta Beauty stock climbed 7% in the wake of positive comments from stock analysts. Professionals at Wells Fargo upgraded shares of the salon and beauty retailer from market perform to outperform, raising their price target by $55 per share to $275. In analysts' view, Ulta stands to make out well from more favorable tax rates under the new laws, and the holiday season has apparently been good for the retailer. Given the industry's difficulties recently, good news has been at a premium, and so shareholders are pleased that Ulta seems to be doing better fundamentally.

AMD gets a chip off its shoulder

Finally, shares of Advanced Micro Devices picked up 5%. The chipmaker originally rose by a much larger amount after reports suggested that a rival company's products had a security flaw, seeming to suggest that customers might be more inclined to switch to AMD chips going forward. Later in the afternoon, the rival rebutted the claims, arguing that media reports had been inaccurate. Even so, the move shows how competitive the chip market is right now, and AMD has done a good job of finding a more viable niche in the industry after spending much of its history as an also-ran among industry leaders.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Baidu. The Motley Fool recommends Ulta Beauty. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.