Tuesday was a mixed day on Wall Street, with tech stocks picking up modest amounts of ground even as broader market measures declined. Investors had a number of events to focus on, including harsh words from President Trump on the trade front and the beginning of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee to discuss a potential interest rate hike. Even with popular indexes generally staying close to where they began the session, a few stocks posted big gains. Square (NYSE: SQ), XO Group (NYSE: XOXO), and The Trade Desk (NASDAQ: TTD) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Square looks to join the giants
Shares of Square rose 11% in the wake of extremely complimentary comments from stock analysts. Pros at Nomura Securities said that the payment processing company should be considered alongside the largest technology, internet, and e-commerce stocks in the business, arguing that Square has been just as much of a disruptor in its niche and has embraced innovation to build a competitive advantage. Despite Square's big share-price advances to date, Nomura set a price target of $125 on the stock, and even though peers at Jefferies are a bit less optimistic, they also boosted their price target (from $63 to $88). Square has plenty of opportunities for growth -- and plenty of room to run higher before its market cap comes close to some of the biggest tech companies in the market.
XO ties the knot
XO Group stock soared 26% after the event planning company said that it would merge with privately held WeddingWire. XO is the parent company of The Knot, a service that helps couples plan their weddings, and under the terms of the deal, XO shareholders will receive $35 per share in cash from private equity investment companies Permira and Spectrum Equity. The deal puts an overall price tag of $933 million on XO, and the company believes that the combination both rewards XO shareholders and will help the business take "another positive step toward our mission of serving the couples and wedding pros we love," in the words of XO CEO Mike Steib. The merger is just the latest example of the massive consolidation going on in e-commerce right now.
Trade Desk gets a thumbs-up
Finally, shares of The Trade Desk finished higher by 11%. The programmatic digital advertising platform specialist received positive comments from analysts at RBC Capital, who maintained their outperform rating on the stock and boosted their price target on Trade Desk by $44 to $170. The analysts touted Trade Desk's new Next Wave platform, which includes several tools designed to help clients do a better job of creating, managing, and evaluating the marketing campaigns they conduct. With such an innovative new approach toward advertising, Trade Desk is taking the world by storm -- both in the media industry and in the stock market.
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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Square and The Trade Desk. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2019 $80 calls on Square. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.