Friday brought a strong end to the week on Wall Street, as investors celebrated strong employment numbers that suggested a continuing expansion in the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrials soared more than 186 points, climbing back above the 20,000 mark, and other major market benchmarks posted gains of 0.5% to 0.75%. Signs of reduced regulation by the federal government also added to market enthusiasm, and certain stocks showed strong performance.
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Among the larger stocks posting big gains were Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), and Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA). Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
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Morgan Stanley celebrates the decline of Dodd-Frank
Morgan Stanley rose more than 5%, leading the entire banking sector higher after President Trump signed an executive order that suggested that financial companies would face less-onerous regulatory requirements. The order told the Labor Department to halt implementation of the fiduciary rule, which would have imposed stricter requirements on financial institutions that offer advice on retirement savings.
The executive order also singled out the Dodd-Frank regulations on Wall Street banks for further review. Investors anticipate that Congress will follow up with legislation toning down or repealing Dodd-Frank, which would be a positive for Morgan Stanley and its peers.
Amgen climbs on a promising cholesterol fighter
Amgen gained 5% in the wake of its fourth-quarter earnings report, as well as positive news from a key drug. The biotech giant said that sales climbed 8%, boosting adjusted earnings per share by 11% compared to the year-ago quarter. But what many investors focused on was favorable clinical trial data from its FOURIER study of cardiovascular drug Repatha. Amgen said that Repatha reduced LDL cholesterol levels, resulting in lower risk of cardiovascular events.
Going forward, a lot depends on whether Amgen's dispute against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN) will result in a permanent injunction against Regeneron, stopping it from selling its cholesterol-fighting drug Praluent. If Amgen wins and Repatha keeps doing well, it could spell even bigger gains in future.
Tableau gives a good report
Finally, Tableau Software soared 15%. The data-visualization specialist released its fourth-quarter financial results, which included sharp gains in quarterly sales, new customer additions, and transaction counts. Although adjusted earnings were down by roughly a fifth from year-ago levels, Tableau still doubled what most investors following the company had expected to see.
With large corporations across the economy looking for better ways to mine the data that they're collecting, Tableau's tools will be increasingly important to help customers use their information more effectively. As long as that trend continues, Tableau is in a good position to keep profiting from it.
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