Why InterOil, Vipshop Holdings, and Ellie Mae Soared Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The stock market found itself on the losing end of the ongoing debate among investors about whether the economic recovery will continue, although the drop of 32 points in the Dow Jones Industrials reflected the wait-and-see approach that many investors are adopting before hearing Congressional testimony from Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen later this week. Yet the broader market's malaise didn't hold InterOil (NYSE: IOC  ) , Vipshop Holdings (NYSE: VIPS  ) , or Ellie Mae (NYSE: ELLI  ) back from posting double-digit percentage gains. Let's take a closer look at each of these stocks to see why they soared today.

InterOil soared 20% as the natural-gas exploration and production company said it's getting closer to making a deal to exploit its Papua New Guinea gas fields. Despite missing earnings estimates in its third-quarter report, InterOil said that it expects to complete its negotiations with "a number of supermajors" in the oil and gas industry by the end of the year. Given the long discussions with ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) that hadn't yet borne fruit, InterOil investors were getting worried that a deal might never get done. Given the size of InterOil's Elk and Antelope fields, solving the problem of monetizing them should hopefully be the final obstacle before the company can start ramping up production and becoming profitable for good.

Chinese online retail company Vipshop Holdings rose 15% after a favorable earnings report of its own, with sales jumping 146% and leading to the company beating earnings expectations by a full nickel per share. Despite the company's impressive past growth rate, Vipshop provided positive guidance for the fourth quarter, projecting sales to almost double again from year-ago levels. Chinese e-tailers face huge competition in a crowded field, but Vipshop has done a good job of ramping up its growth quickly to take advantage of improving conditions in the country's economy.

Ellie Mae jumped 14% on speculation that the provider of software for the mortgage industry could receive a buyout offer. Ellie Mae had reportedly sought to put itself up for sale a couple months ago, but the company's failure to produce earnings growth in its most recent quarterly report sent shares tumbling earlier this month. Investors can only hope that the company won't accept a low-ball bid after the stock's substantial drop, even as Ellie Mae faces uncertain times with mortgage origination rates under pressure.

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