The stock market exploded higher on Monday, with major benchmarks climbing more than 1% and the Dow Jones Industrials finishing the day with a gain of almost 340 points. Investors were heartened by comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for the Trump administration to pull back from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Lower bond yields also played a role in helping sentiment, as did good news from several individual companies. Square (NYSE: SQ), CF Industries Holdings (NYSE: CF), and GTx (NASDAQ: GTXI) 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.
Square rises on a crypto connection
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Shares of Square gained almost 10% on a good day for the innovative payment processing company -- and for the price of bitcoin, too. Square's fortunes have increasingly gotten linked to those of the leading cryptocurrency, with the payment processor being among the first major companies to facilitate bitcoin transactions within a core suite of applications in its overall platform. Square has tested bitcoin transactions since late last year, but except in states that regulate the cryptocurrency separately, users across the nation can now use Square to buy and sell using bitcoin. If users can tap Square to transact in bitcoin without some of the challenges involved in direct manipulation of the blockchain, then the payment processor could become a leader in the budding cryptocurrency market.
CF looks poised to grow
CF Industries Holdings stock jumped more than 6% after getting positive reviews from Wall Street analysts looking at the fertilizer industry. Analysts at Cowen & Co. upgraded CF from market perform to outperform, in addition to making favorable comments about other major players in fertilizer. Cowen said that crop yields in South America could come in much lower than previously expected, helping to push prices higher that could in turn spur more investment in fertilizer and other yield-enhancing products. With CF likely to benefit, Cowen boosted its price target on the stock by 25% to $50 per share, and investors have already pushed the stock halfway higher to that new target.
GTx gets good results
Finally, shares of GTx soared 38%. The small biotech got a big win from a phase 2 clinical trial of its enobosarm candidate treatment for stress urinary incontinence, with new data released that show positive effects from use of the drug. Results include reduced numbers of urinary incontinence episodes and a beneficial increase in various muscle measurements related to the condition. Investors now believe that enobosarm might prove useful for a larger group of patients than previously thought, and that in turn could broaden its commercial value if later-stage trials prove successful. It's been a long road for GTx, but investors think that maybe they can see a finish line ahead.
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