Why Ambac Financial Group, Inc., Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and YRC Worldwide, Inc. 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.

Traditionally, the week of Christmas tends to be slow as many investors celebrate the holidays. Even with big gains already locked in for 2013, the stock market nevertheless continued to rise Monday, with strong economic news and the major announcement of iPhone availability for users of China's leading mobile network helping to boost sentiment. Ambac Financial Group (NASDAQ: AMBC  ) , Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA  ) , and YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ: YRCW  ) all posted much more extensive gains than the overall market.

Ambac climbed 12% after a favorable review of the bond-insurance provider in Barron's over the weekend. The article argued that Ambac has done a good job of restructuring itself after going through bankruptcy, and the post-bankruptcy shares -- not to be confused with old shares that were almost worthless -- could easily jump 50% within the next 12 months and even more in the long run. Given the performance of other mortgage and bond insurers recently, that assessment seems consistent with the general perception of the industry. Admittedly, plenty of risks still exist in the market, but with peers having won cases against mortgage lenders over insurance claims, Ambac could see further gains even after today's jump.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals gained 9% as the beleaguered biotech got an upgrade from an analyst who argued that higher sales of its Iclusig treatment for leukemia could help return the stock to higher levels. The move adds onto Friday's jump of more than 16% that came when Ariad said that the FDA would allow it to start selling Iclusig again after a suspension of sales back in October. Investors still need to be prepared for more restricted indications for Iclusig sales than they saw previously, but if the company can work its way through its issues, then Ariad could have further to rebound from its huge drop during the autumn.

YRC Worldwide soared 22% as the trucking company came to a deal to reduce its debt by $300 million. With the company struggling to get favorable concessions in union-contract negotiations, the benefit of low interest rates has helped YRC restructure its debt. Today's deal will involve creditors buying shares at $15, roughly where shares started the day, and could make a union agreement more likely. YRC Worldwide is fortunate to have found a possible escape to its overreaching expansion and overspending in past years, but today's move could help it start going in the right direction.

Win big from biotech
Ariad isn't the only company paving the way toward gains in biotechnology. Your best way to play the biotech space is to find companies that shun the status quo and instead discover revolutionary, groundbreaking technologies. In The Motley Fool's brand-new free report "2 Game-Changing Biotechs Revolutionizing the Way We Treat Cancer," find out about a new technology that big pharma is endorsing through partnerships, and the two companies that are set to profit from this emerging drug class. Click here to get your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 2775676, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/20/2014 4:57:15 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
NASD 4,095.52 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

4/17/2014 3:59 PM
AMBC $28.82 Up +0.06 +0.21%
Ambac Financial Gr… CAPS Rating: **
ARIA $7.20 Up +0.11 +1.48%
Ariad Pharmaceutic… CAPS Rating: **
YRCW $19.59 Up +0.06 +0.31%
YRC Worldwide, Inc… CAPS Rating: *