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Why General Electric, Puma Biotechnology, and Lennar Jumped Today

Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool

The stock market had a relatively calm session on Tuesday, bouncing back slightly after suffering substantial declines yesterday. Investors continue to worry about the threat of prolonged trade tensions across the globe, especially in light of recent U.S. policy, but a strong domestic economy seemed to make them a bit more comfortable with current events. Some individual companies also had good news that lifted their shares. General Electric (NYSE: GE), Puma Biotechnology (NASDAQ: PBYI), and Lennar (NYSE: LEN) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

GE bids adieu to the Dow

Shares of General Electric jumped 8% in a move that many would see as counterintuitive, because the industrial giant was taken out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average effective today. Yet the company also announced some major changes, including its decision to spin off its healthcare division and to sell its Baker Hughes oil services unit. CEO John Flannery has been under pressure to take aggressive action following ongoing struggles in some of the conglomerate's core businesses, and although today's moves might not be enough by themselves to be successful, GE shareholders at least see them as a step in the right direction.

Worker on top of wind turbine with other turbines in the distance.

Image source: General Electric.

Puma takes a leap forward

Puma Biotechnology stock soared 24% after the company said that European regulators look ready to grant approval for a key candidate treatment. Puma announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) under the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of Puma's marketing authorization application for neratinib, a treatment for early-stage breast cancer. The CHMP had initially announced a negative opinion at a formal meeting early this year, but the reversal indicates that it's likely that the body will approve neratinib in a final vote at its next meeting. Even with today's news, the stock is still down by about a third so far in 2018.

Lennar builds higher

Finally, shares of Lennar gained 5%. The homebuilder reported impressive results in its fiscal second quarter, including a nearly 80% rise in the dollar value of new home orders. Deliveries jumped by more than half from year-ago levels, and Lennar's backlog has more than doubled in dollar-value terms over the same period. Overall sales were up 67%. Executive chairman Stuart Miller explained that "concerns about rising interest rates and construction costs have been offset by low unemployment and increasing wages, combined with short supply based on years of underproduction of new homes." As long as those trends persist, Lennar should be able to keep growing, especially with a smart acquisition bearing fruit for the homebuilder.

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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.