Friday was a strong day for the stock market, capping the best week of the year for many major benchmarks. Although the latest data on U.S. employment suggested that an economic slowdown could be right around the corner, investors took that as a sign that it's more likely that the Federal Reserve will step in to support the economy by lowering interest rates. That helped indexes rebound from losses last month, and some individual stocks saw even bigger gains due to company-specific news. MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB), Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ), and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
MongoDB gets moving again
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Shares of MongoDB jumped 15% in somewhat of a delayed reaction to financial results that it released late Wednesday. The database specialist had announced exceptionally strong revenue growth of 78% in its fiscal first quarter late Wednesday, but even though the company boosted its sales outlook for the full year, investors weren't quite sure how to respond to calls for losses that were slightly wider than expected. Yet today, market participants seemed to value fast-growing companies more, and that likely led to the big gains for MongoDB to finish the week.
Zumiez skates forward
Zumiez saw its stock soar 16% following its release of its first-quarter financial report. The skate apparel and specialty clothing retailer said that sales for the period were higher by about 3% compared to prior-year levels, with comparable sales climbing 3.3%. Zumiez also reversed a year-ago loss with a modest profit for the period, and CEO Rick Brooks said that its efforts to cut back on promotional discounting paid off with stronger margin. Even though Zumiez sees comps growth decelerating to just 0% to 2% during the fiscal second quarter, shareholders seem happy that the retailer is putting itself in position to be more profitable and capitalize more effectively on its business opportunities.
Barnes & Noble makes a big sale
Finally, shares of Barnes & Noble climbed 11%. The bookseller found itself the target of an acquisition bid from Elliott Advisors, which agreed to pay $683 million to acquire the bookselling retailer. Under the terms of the deal, shareholders will receive $6.50 per share in cash for their Barnes & Noble stock, and the bookseller said that the agreement was the natural end result of its strategic alternatives review, which had been going on for roughly eight months. Elliott already owns rival bookseller Waterstones, but it expects each company to operate independently while sharing in synergy-producing opportunities. Barnes & Noble stock had already seen big gains in anticipation of a deal, but the fact that it's currently above the $6.50-per-share deal price suggests at least some thoughts of a rival bid surfacing.
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