The stock market's roller-coaster ride continued on Thursday, and investors ended up seeing gains of 1% or more in most of their favorite market benchmarks. Once again, much of the attention in the market centered on the Federal Reserve, and some sluggish economic data gave some investors hope that the central bank would take the opportunity not to raise interest rates at its meeting later in September. That hope helped reverse some fear-driven losses earlier in the week, and some individual companies also had good news that lifted their shares. Among the best performers were Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ:CRUS), Bluebird Bio (NASDAQ:BLUE), and GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO).
Cirrus climbs above the clouds
Cirrus Logic jumped 8% on hopes for the supplier of audio chips to get a big win in the coming release of the iPhone 7 smartphone. Confirmation that the latest version of the iPhone will have a digital link to external headphones rather than a physical jack was good news for Cirrus, as it allowed the smartphone to offer stereo sound by making room for an additional speaker. Yet Cirrus wasn't the only company to post solid gains today, as a host of suppliers for the iPhone 7 performed well. Pre-order activity for the smartphone appears to be strong, and investor sentiment for the phone's manufacturer and all the companies behind it was positive nearly across the board. If the launch goes as well as these early indications suggest, then Cirrus could end up seeing even more gains.
Bluebird Bio gets a vote of confidence
Bluebird Bio soared 11% after the biotechnology company received positive comments from analysts at Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street giant added Bluebird to its conviction buy list, arguing that the stock could nearly double even from today's closing price. With promising treatments undergoing clinical testing and important updates expected later this year, Bluebird has the potential to make or break its bullish case going forward. Nothing can be certain with drug treatment development, but with the results Bluebird's LentiGlobin has already delivered, many investors are hopeful that the company will eventually have a breakout event at some point in the not too distant future. Moreover, the stock has responded to suggestions that it might be a takeover target, and positive results in clinical trials could be exactly what a would-be acquirer needs to see in order to pull the trigger.
GoPro takes a pretty picture
Finally, GoPro gained 8%. Investors have been nervous about the prospects for the extreme-sports video-camera specialist going into the 2016 holiday season, with new releases of camera product updates for which success is far from a sure thing. However, excitement about the company's new Karma drone has been building, and the company's expected release of more details on its drone early next week could well be the catalyst to drive further momentum forward. The key for GoPro will be to demonstrate that Karma is superior to existing products on the market, but if it can do so, then the potential in the drone market is large enough to be a major mover for the business and the stock. Today's share-price move suggests investors are betting on a powerful product from GoPro, and it's up to the company to deliver the goods.