Why Tesla Motors, Williams Companies, and Nuance Communications Jumped Today

The major stock-market benchmarks didn't move much, but it was far from a quiet day. Find out more about what made these stocks soar.

Jun 16, 2014 at 8:05PM

The stock market didn't move far in either direction on Monday, as investors struggled to reconcile different takes on market sentiment and crosscurrents in the news flow. Many people seem increasingly concerned about the rising tide of bullishness in the market, but so far, every modest decline has been followed by a solid bounce. Moreover, positive news from high-profile stocks have set a positive tone among many investors, with Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), Williams Companies (NYSE:WMB), and Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) all jumping substantially today.

Source: Tesla Motors.

Tesla Motors climbed almost 9% on reports that major car companies might be willing to join forces with the electric-car specialist to standardize the way that such cars are able to recharge their batteries. Investors met Tesla's announcement last week that it would open up its intellectual property with some skepticism, as it wasn't initially clear which direction Tesla expected to go with the help of others. Yet given that the major impediment to wider-scale adoption of electric vehicles has been a lack of convenient ways to extend driving range, potential help in creating a network of supercharger stations could lead many more customers to consider purchasing Tesla vehicles in the future.

Energy giant Williams Companies jumped 19% after announcing that it will take full control of the general partnership interests in the Access Midstream Partners master limited partnership in a transaction with its current joint-venture partner. Williams will pay $6 billion in cash for Access, ending up with half of its limited partnership units as well. But the deal for investors will be even better, with Williams promising that its own master limited partnership will boost its distributions by almost a third as a result of the merger. MLPs have huge tax advantages that have motivated past deals, and Williams hopes to get the most from the structure in order to cash in on the boom in the domestic energy market.


Source: Nuance Communications.

Nuance Communications rose about 10% on news that the company behind the Siri voice-recognition application is looking to sell itself. With Nuance looking at a major smartphone provider as well as several private-equity firms, the big question for investors is whether the company will be successful in finding the right buyer at the right price. Despite its well-known product offerings, Nuance has had trouble making money lately, and it's uncertain how much lasting power the company's best-known products actually have. After today's jump, it'll be even harder for Nuance to find an interested acquirer, but for a company with the right fit, a buyout could make a lot of strategic sense.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Nuance Communications and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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