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Why Advanced Micro Devices, Ciena, and Eloxx Pharmaceuticals Jumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

The stock market was relatively quiet on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushing higher alongside the other major benchmarks. Large-cap stocks outperformed small caps as investors seemed to get more comfortable about the trade issues affecting multinational corporations. Company-specific events made headlines, and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD), Ciena (NYSE: CIEN), and Eloxx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ELOX) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Morgan Stanley says "no mas" on negative AMD call

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices climbed 8% in the wake of an upgrade from a major Wall Street stock analysis company. Morgan Stanley reversed its previous views on the graphics processing chipmaker, boosting its rating on AMD from underweight to equal weight and pushing its price target up by $11 to $28 per share. Even in the upgrade, Morgan Stanley remained somewhat petulant, arguing that there's too much short-term thinking supporting the stock. Yet in the absence of obvious reasons to be negative about the chipmaker's prospects, analysts admitted that they'd been wrong in the wake of the stock's huge gains, and shareholders liked what they saw in the capitulation.

Back of a console with AMD Radeon chip prominently featured.

Image source: AMD.

Ciena makes a smooth connection

Ciena's stock soared 27% after the optical networking specialist reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results. Revenue climbed almost 19% from the year-ago period, and adjusted net income more than doubled as demand from two major customers helped lift numbers in Ciena's networking platforms, software, and global services businesses. The company also sees favorable conditions persisting for the remainder of the year, and as CEO Gary Smith put it, Ciena has "strong visibility and increased confidence for the full fiscal year supported by favorable industry dynamics and growing competitive advantage." That bodes well for the company's prospects for the foreseeable future.

Eloxx makes progress

Finally, shares of Eloxx Pharmaceuticals jumped 10%. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company released data from its investigation of its ELX-02 candidate treatment showing that it resulted in restored activity for a key cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein. Several oral presentations went through early conclusions, which included that ELX-02 was well-tolerated by patients in general along with other favorable findings. Eloxx expects to report data from a phase 2 study of ELX-02 in cystic fibrosis patients later in 2019. Having faced tough times recently, Eloxx investors hope that this will translate into further progress toward eventual approval of a treatment for the disease.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.