The stock market performed well on Tuesday, responding to steady improvement among many companies as earnings season kicked into high gear. Although political issues are likely to remain in the spotlight for some investors for the foreseeable future, many market participants are looking to economic and business issues in driving their investing decisions. Major market benchmarks finished the day with gains of 0.5% to 1%, but some stocks did much better. Among the best performers on the day were Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI), II-VI (NASDAQ:IIVI), and Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH). Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Allegheny gets a pipeline boost
Allegheny Technologies soared 31% in the wake of better-than-expected performance in its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 financial results. The supplier of specialty metal products finished 2016 with a 16% decline in revenue from 2015 and a massive net loss, but its fourth-quarter bottom line was positive. What many investors watched even more closely was President Trump's decision to sign an executive order paving the way for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to go forward. In the order, there was a requirement that the pipeline builders must use U.S. steel, and that boosted steelmakers across the board. If a manufacturing boom does materialize, Allegheny Technologies is well-positioned to be in the middle of it.
II-VI looks red-hot
II-VI soared 15% after reporting fiscal second-quarter results that surprised investors positively. The maker of lasers and related products saw sales jump 21% from the year-ago quarter, sending adjusted net income up by almost two-thirds. Bookings hit record levels, and II-VI said it expects the remainder of the year to look extraordinarily strong. Increasingly, companies in many different industries have embraced the potential of laser technology, and II-VI and its peers in the laser industry have done a good job meeting increased demand. With the company investing heavily in research and development to boost its production capacity even further, investors are excited about II-VI's prospects for the rest of 2017 and beyond.
Beazer responds to strong housing conditions
Finally, Beazer Homes gained 9%. The housing specialist was just one of many stocks in the industry to respond favorably to positive news from D.R. Horton, which said that revenue jumped 20%, sending earnings higher by nearly a third. Also helping Beazer was the latest report from the National Association of Realtors, which said that inventories of existing homes for sale fell nearly 11% to the lowest level since the industry group started collecting data 18 years ago. With tight conditions in the housing market, Beazer has the opportunity to meet strong demand with new-home construction, and that could spell a longer period of cyclical growth than some nervous investors had believed possible in a rising-rate environment.