The stock market opened the post-holiday week with a modest rise, although the Dow Jones Industrials remained stubbornly below the 20,000 level. Gains in other major market benchmarks were as large as half a percentage point as investors seemed content to leave the overall market in its recent doldrums to start the final week of 2016. Nevertheless, some stocks performed quite well, and NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), Yelp (NYSE:YELP) and First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) were among the best performers of the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
NVIDIA keeps climbing
NVIDIA continued its huge run in 2016, rising another 7% to bring its year-to-date total return to more than 250%. The graphics chipmaker has been a huge beneficiary of rising interest in cutting-edge technologies, and some investors believe that NVIDIA could have further to climb as some of the newest applications for those technologies gain momentum. In particular, analysts at Pacific Crest reported on how virtual reality is starting to get traction among consumers, and NVIDIA has expertise there that could help it even more in 2017. Combined with other existing prospects in areas including gaming and data-center applications, NVIDIA can count on seeing its growth continue at a rapid rate -- regardless of whether it proves fast enough to satisfy highly optimistic investors.
Yelp gets a good review
Yelp climbed 5% after the online review specialist got a favorable recommendation in the weekend issue of Barron's. The latest issue of the well-renowned investing periodical discussed a service called SumZero, which brings together investors in a social network designed to try to capture strong investing ideas before ordinary investors catch on. Yelp was included among top picks from some of the service's best-performing members, and after sagging in the early part of the year, Yelp stock has climbed dramatically in the second half of 2016. As the service's popularity among internet users has grown, Yelp has the capacity to gain greater market share and fight back against much larger competitors in a way that could bring further gains in 2017.
First Majestic shines
Finally, First Majestic Silver gained 8%. The silver-mining company has gotten hit hard so far in December, in large part because of adverse dynamics affecting the entire precious metals sector. Yet despite the substantial drop over the past month from the results of the presidential election and the decision from the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, silver bullion prices rebounded on Tuesday, and First Majestic was one of the biggest beneficiaries of that upward move. Even with today's gains, however, few investors are convinced that precious metals have fallen enough to make them obvious value plays. Shareholders will have to wait to see whether First Majestic can stand out from the silver-mining crowd with superior efficiency and cost structures to do well regardless of what happens in the broader silver market.
Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nvidia. The Motley Fool recommends Yelp. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.