The stock market didn't do much on Tuesday, as investors seemed content to listen to generally positive comments by Fed Chair Jay Powell to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. With earnings season having largely drawn to a close, most market participants are watching the overall economy for hints on its future direction, and a solid reading on consumer confidence was a net positive. Major indexes were mostly lower, but some companies got good news that sent their shares higher. NIO (NYSE: NIO), Dillard's (NYSE: DDS), and ServiceMaster Global Holdings (NYSE: SERV) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
NIO charges up
Shares of NIO climbed nearly 9%, adding to gains on Monday following favorable news coverage on the company over the weekend. NIO was spotlighted on the program 60 Minutes, with CEO William Li getting a chance to tout the company's electric vehicles as not only luxury cars but "tickets to a new lifestyle." The news report looked at the social networking impact of NIO in China, which includes clubhouses for owners that open doors to opportunities unrelated to the vehicles. With advantages in its home market over foreign competition, NIO has a lot of potential upside, and investors are taking notice.
Image source: NIO.
Dillard's rings up big gains
Dillard's saw its stock soar 20% after the retailer issued its fourth-quarter financial report. The department store specialist said that revenue rose 1% after adjusting for calendar differences, with a 2% rise in comparable-store sales in the quarter compared to the year-earlier period. Dillard's highlighted its consistent revenue generation throughout 2018, which included four quarters of positive sales gains, extensive cost controls, and return of capital through dividends and stock buybacks. The results were especially welcome in light of poor performance in recent quarters, but Dillard's still has work to do to convince naysayers that it's back on track to beat tough industry conditions and succeed.
ServiceMaster cleans up
Finally, shares of ServiceMaster Global Holdings finished higher by 16.5%. The company said that revenue climbed 12% during the fourth quarter of 2018, including a 12% rise in sales in its Terminix pest control unit. That was especially noteworthy for the company, because as CEO Nik Varty noted, "[O]ur primary goal in 2018 was to transform our Terminix business and unlock the potential to drive sustainable revenue growth." Investors also seemed pleased with projections for 6% to 8% top-line growth in 2019, and even though organic growth rates at Terminix are expected to slow, ServiceMaster's work to transform itself appears to be bearing fruit.
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