Thursday was another good day for the stock market, as investors generally reacted favorably to prospects that economic conditions could allow for a reversal of recent interest rate increases in the U.S. in the near future. Action taken to keep U.S. companies from using technology from national security threats, which would include Chinese telecom giant Huawei, didn't have the same negative effect as other, broader trade-related measures that the White House has used against China recently. Moreover, positive news from several key companies resulted in extraordinary share-price gains. Snap (NYSE: SNAP), Kemet (NYSE: KEM), and Iovance Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: IOVA) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Snap faces one less threat
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Shares of Snap picked up 7% after the social media company benefited from the moves of one of its rivals. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) decided that it would discontinue its Direct app for use in direct messaging with its Instagram platform, instead integrating some of the tools that Direct had into Instagram itself. Direct was seen as a competitor to the Snapchat app, and so Facebook's decision not to develop it further essentially cedes its claim to that portion of the social media market. Snap still faces larger threats from Facebook and other players in the industry, but at least for today, shareholders are pleased that Snapchat has won this battle.
Kemet powers up
Kemet's stock jumped over 16% after the supplier of electronic components reported its preliminary fiscal fourth-quarter results. Revenue climbed 12%, resulting in adjusted net income more than doubling from year-ago levels. Kemet CEO Bill Lowe pointed to the success of structural changes to the company's business, as well as smart strategic acquisitions that have broadened its scope and created synergies with legacy operations. Having come off a somewhat weaker quarter three months ago, Kemet's solid gains today appear to be restoring confidence in its longer-term prospects.
Finally, shares of Iovance Biotherapeutics soared 36%. The biotech reported favorable results from clinical programs, including one study of cervical cancer patients and another addressing patients with advanced metastatic melanoma. The study of the candidate treatment LN-145 showed more than triple the objective response rate as a competing cervical cancer drug, while another study of LN-144 for melanoma confirmed encouraging objective response rates of 38%. The results confirm the promise of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte technology, and patients and investors alike hope that the news will continue to be good for Iovance.
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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.