The stock market moved higher on Monday, spurred by positive sentiment among investors about the current state of the U.S. economy. Market participants are anxiously awaiting the results of this week's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee to see if the central bank will hold off on boosting interest rates. That would be a sign that the Fed is taking seriously the threats to continued economic growth, which many would view as a positive development. Although gains for major indexes were modest, some stocks pushed sharply higher. Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW), Village Farms International (NASDAQ: VFF), and Puma Biotechnology (NASDAQ: PBYI) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Edwards gets good study results
Shares of Edwards Lifesciences climbed 6% after the medical device maker announced the latest results of a key clinical trial. Edwards said that its Sapien 3 transcatheter aortic valve met the primary endpoint in a trial comparing it to surgery in patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. In measuring whether patients suffered death or additional strokes and hospitalizations one year after treatment, the Sapien 3 valve proved to be superior, with a 46% reduction in adverse event rates. Edwards hopes to win low-risk indications for the valve later this year, and investors seem to be confident about the company's prospects to use the victory to gain momentum throughout its business.
Image source: Edwards Lifesciences.
Village Farms gets higher
Village Farms International saw its stock rise 14% as investors continued to celebrate good news from late last week. The grower of greenhouse-raised produce reversed a year-earlier loss by posting a profit in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the company said that its Pure Sunfarms cannabis-growing joint venture with Emerald Health Therapeutics was also profitable for the period. With marijuana stocks generally seeing gains today, shareholders in Village Farms see a lot of potential growth stemming from Pure Sunfarms, and they believe the expertise that the greenhouse-growing specialist brings to the table deserves an optimistic view.
Finally, shares of Puma Biotechnology picked up 8%. The biotech said that its licensing partner in Asia had gotten marketing authorization from Australian regulators to commercialize its breast cancer treatment Nerlynx in the Australian market. The partner, Specialised Therapeutics Asia, has worked to gain approval in other countries across the region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Brunei. Puma has high hopes for Nerlynx worldwide, and after a slow start, sales of the treatment are finally starting to live up to expectations. Further approvals could make the growth curve even steeper for Puma.
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