Whoa! What Just Happened With My Stock?

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) jumped 1.6% yesterday, rising 207 points as talks of cool-headedness seemed to prevail on both sides in the fiscal-cliff saga, the tech-laden Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC  ) did even better, closing 2% higher, pushed upwards as tech giants such as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS  ) , and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) all made index-beating gains.

Yet while I expect the exuberance will be fleeting and we'll see greater volatility in the markets, some managed to do even better than the tech leaders, even rising by double-digit percentages.

Company

% Gain

Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE: MHR  )

13.1%

Star Scientific (Nasdaq: STSI  )

11.4%

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR  )

11.3%

Yet resist the urge to high-five everyone in the cubicles next to you. Smart investors won't celebrate until they know why their stock surged, because without a fundamental basis for the bounce, these stocks could just as quickly make the return trip down.

No news is good news
There was no company-specific news to account for independent oil and gas play Magnum Hunter Resources that should have sent its stock soaring as it did. On Friday, Jim Cramer said it was a speculative investment that needed oil prices of $100 to be considered worthy of your dollars, and with oil falling yesterday below $89, it would appear the stock should have been going the other way, in line with its missing revenue and earnings estimates last week.

But Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR  ) a little over a week ago purchased 120,000 net acres in Divide and Williams County in the Bakken region of North Dakota from privately held Samson Resources, cementing its position as the leading player here. Yet earlier this year, Magnum acquired a nearly 50% non-operated working interest in the Divide acreage from Baytex Energy (NYSE: BTE  ) , which had a venture with Samson to operate the property. So with Continental working the property now, Magnum's prospects for the region look much better.

It's still a volatile time, and Magnum Hunter Resources needs to prove itself still, but let me know in the comments section below if you think the oil and gas play will still be rockin' the Bakken.

Smoke gets in your eyes
Former "healthy tobacco" technician-cum-dietary supplement maker Star Scientific enjoyed a second day of rising value following news that the company's CEO and several other shareholders invested $20 million in its operations through the exercise of warrants, which will result in the issuing of 19.5 million new shares but a cancellation of the warrants. The stock is up 22% over the past two trading days, no doubt partly because the CEO also said he'll accept only $1 in salary until the company is profitable.

Star wrangled a $5 million settlement from cigarette maker Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI  ) in September following a long running legal battle, but investors think Star allowed Reynolds to escape cheaply, and its stock has been in a tailspin since.

It's been moving away from tobacco products, though, and perhaps just wanted to get this chapter closed. Last quarterm it recorded sales of $1.7 million, primarily because of its anti-inflammatory dietary supplement Anatabloc, which it sells through GNC (NYSE: GNC  ) and has become its growth vehicle .

While the financing deal gave it a lifeline, since it had recently warned on its ability to keep funding itself, TheStreet noted that Star gave up tens of millions of dollars to investors who exercised the warrants, money that otherwise would have been worth $50 million to the company. Investors might want to reconsider whether their investment here will still go up in smoke.

Hook, line, and sinker
Boy, someone's awfully good at timing these things, managing to buy into home coffee brewing maven Green Mountain Coffee Roasters just before it announces it's appointing a new CEO. Funny how that works, right?

But naming an executive from Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) to lead the company forward is a big deal, since it brings leadership that understands marketing, branding, and distribution. Facing a slew of discount competitors means the coffee specialist needs someone who can navigate these new waters for it, but at least we know there are some investors who are prescient enough to get out in front of positive news developments like that.

I'm still doubtful it can outperform the broad indexes, but let me know if you agree the move higher by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will leave an aftertaste like day-old coffee.


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