Why J.C. Penney, Susser Petroleum Partners, and Flamel Technologies Jumped Today

On Monday, the stock market bounced back after last week's disappointing finish, as things didn't go as badly in the geopolitical realm as some had feared. Early excitement about merger and acquisition activity in the pharmaceutical space gave way to concerns about economic sanctions on Russia, but overall, broader markets managed gains of a quarter-percent to a half-percent. Yet J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) , Susser Petroleum Partners (NYSE: SUSP  ) , and Flamel Technologies (NASDAQ: FLML  ) all managed much larger gains, with a variety of different news items lifting shareholders' spirits about the companies.

J.C. Penney gained 9% after one of its suppliers made positive comments about its success with the struggling retailer. The CEO of Izod and Tommy Hilfiger brand-owner PVH said that its business at J.C. Penney is going better than it expected, specifically highlighting its Van Heusen and Izod lines and its men's collections. If the supplier's experience is representative of J.C. Penney's overall business conditions, then it could point to favorable comparisons versus last year's debacle, and that could provide even bigger gains for shareholders going forward.

Susser Petroleum Partners soared 22% as Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP  ) announced that it would buy out the master limited partnership's general partner and its incentive distribution rights in Susser Petroleum Partners for $1.8 billion. Energy Transfer Partners said that eventually, it expects to drop down all of its combined retail businesses to Susser Petroleum Partners under ETP's Sunoco brand. Interestingly, even though Susser Petroleum Partners unitholders won't receive any compensation from today's deal, investors believe that the competitive benefit to the combination enhances Susser's value immensely.

Flamel Technologies gained 12% as investors anticipated a potentially groundbreaking announcement in the near future. Last September, the Food and Drug Administration accepted a new drug application from Flamel for review, and at the time, it set its target date to complete its review of the NDA. That so-called Prescription Drug User Fee Act or PDUFA date was today, so investors are hoping Flamel will get positive news from the FDA. Interestingly, Flamel chose not to disclose the product for which it was seeking FDA approval, citing competitive reasons. But with investors extremely interested in the pharmaceutical and biotech spaces right now, even the hope of a positive result is apparently good enough to draw interest in Flamel Technologies and its drug-delivery technology.

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