The stock market was mixed on Wednesday, as various sectors moved in different directions. The Dow was the sole gainer among major market benchmarks, and the Nasdaq lagged, losing more than 1%. The S&P 500 split the difference with a modest decline, but some stocks were substantial winners. Among the best performers were Continental Resources (CLR), China Unicom (CHU), and Wayfair (W -1.14%). Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks and tell you why they did so well.
Continental joins the energy boom
Continental Resources soared 23% on a strong day for the energy sector in general. Crude oil prices soared almost $4 per barrel to $49 after the OPEC cartel made a deal to make production cuts in response to a glut of supply on the market. Helping to push oil higher was the fact that Russia, which is not a member of OPEC, also agreed to reduce production. Saudi Arabia will be the OPEC country most affected by the reductions, which will total about 1.8 million barrels per day. For Continental, any increase in prices could boost profit, although CEO Harold Hamm has said that he doesn't expect the company's rig counts to rise even if oil rebounds above the $60-per-barrel level.
China Unicom makes a connection
China Unicom gained 7% on news reports suggesting that the provider of telecom services in China could make a pitch to some other major Chinese companies to make investments in exchange for equity stakes. In particular, internet giants like Baidu and Tencent Holdings are among the companies that could get an invitation to become strategic investors in China Unicom, allowing them to extend their reach. If the move actually happens, it could become an example for other companies to follow as China attempts to encourage what it calls mixed-ownership reform of state-owned enterprises.
Wayfair has a good weekend
Finally, Wayfair was up 5%. The online retailer said that its performance on Cyber Monday capped a strong weekend of sales, reporting a 52% jump in direct retail sales during the holiday weekend. Total sales were up 46%, and Cyber Monday was the best sales day ever for Wayfair. The highest order volume came in the late evening hours of 9 p.m. to midnight on Monday Eastern time, and Wayfair was happy that repeat customers made up nearly three-fifths of its holiday sales. With customers needing furnishings and decor to spruce up their homes for the holidays, Wayfair hopes that early trends will turn out to last throughout the season.