Wednesday was mostly upbeat on Wall Street, as investors tried to parse through the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve's monetary policy group to determine the likely future course of interest rates. Market participants also saw some uncertainty from Washington, where lawmakers questioned executives of the largest financial institutions in the nation. Yet most broad benchmarks posted modest gains, and some individual stocks saw even bigger moves higher. First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), Guardant Health (NASDAQ: GH), and Tempur Sealy International (NYSE: TPX) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
First Solar gets its day in the sun
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Shares of First Solar rose 8% after the solar power specialist earned favorable comments from an influential Wall Street analyst. Goldman Sachs added First Solar to its prestigious conviction buy list, and raised its price target by $11 to $75 per share. Goldman believes that First Solar can benefit not only from improving conditions across the globe, but also from strong demand for utility-scale projects in the U.S. market. Despite the fact that some of those following the stock worry that the solar giant might not have a sustainable competitive advantage, First Solar shareholders seem happy about Wall Street's views on its future.
Guardant gets more insurer interest
Guardant Health saw its stock jump 12% following the liquid biopsy test provider's latest update. Guardant said that it has successfully worked with technology assessment company eviCore to ensure that its Guardant360 liquid biopsy product will be a covered benefit for those who have coverage under eviCore-associated health plans. That should amount to roughly 38 million more people as of July 1, bringing total coverage for Guardant360 to more than 150 million Americans. Given that eviCore's decision hinged in part on studies showing that use of the liquid biopsy product compared favorably with more invasive tissue-based testing in advanced lung cancer patients, it's likely that Guardant will be able to get even more companies to see Guardant360's value.
Tempur rests easier
Finally, shares of Tempur Sealy International climbed 7%. The mattress maker got good news today when retailer Mattress Firm announced that its CEO had resigned. Many see Steve Stagner's departure from Mattress Firm as potentially easing the way for renewed ties between the mattress retailer and Tempur Sealy, as the outgoing CEO hadn't gotten along well with executives at Tempur Sealy. It could take a while for any substantial change to take place, but just the possibility of a thawing of relations was good news for Tempur Sealy shareholders.
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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Guardant Health. The Motley Fool recommends First Solar. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.