The stock market gave back ground on Tuesday, although major benchmarks were able to finish the day with only small declines. So far, 2017 has gone roughly according to plan from a macroeconomic standpoint, as the Federal Reserve has boosted interest rates as expected due to signs of a strengthening U.S. economy. Yet with earnings season about to get underway and geopolitical concerns beginning to mount, some investors seem uncomfortable continuing to bid up stocks near all-time record highs.
Still, some stocks managed to buck the negative sentiment on Tuesday, and Sears Holdings (SHLDQ), Plug Power (PLUG -0.62%) and Coeur Mining (CDE -1.28%) were among the best performers on the day. Below, we'll look more closely at these stocks to tell you why they did so well.
Sears scoffs at going-concern risks
Shares of Sears Holdings jumped 10%, continuing their ascent despite the fact that the retailer itself recently disclosed doubts about its ability to continue as a going concern. Sears' annual report made the legal disclosure, but after a brief sell-off, investors seemed to dispel concerns about the former retail giant's viability. Indeed, key investors like Fairholme Capital's Bruce Berkowitz have piled into the stock since the disclosure, suggesting the possibility of a happy ending for shareholders in Sears. At this point, Sears has a lot of work left to do in order to get its balance sheet in order and address the longtime weakness in its brick-and-mortar retail operations. However, some believe that the stock has hit rock bottom, at least for now, and that could lead to a continuing upward move for shares in the near future.
This fuel-cell specialist keeps plugging along
Plug Power stock rose another 7%, adding to gains of 20% on Monday and continuing its upward movement over the past week. The gains came in response to Plug's deal with Amazon.com (AMZN -1.02%), under which Amazon will utilize GenKey fuel-cell and hydrogen-powered technology to help it make its fulfillment operations more energy-efficient and cost-effective. The deal also gives Amazon the right to take a large equity stake in Plug Power, and some investors appear hopeful that Plug shares will somehow piggyback on Amazon's long-term success. It's unclear whether Amazon is really likely to move forward with a more extensive partnership with Plug Power, but the vote of confidence is still leading shareholders to boost their views on the value of their stock.
Finally, shares of Coeur Mining gained 8%. The silver miner benefited from solid conditions in the commodities markets, including a $0.35-per-ounce gain in silver prices to finish the day above $18.25 per ounce. Many investors anticipated that silver could come under pressure in 2017, especially if Federal Reserve interest rate increases boosted the financing costs for silver investors. Yet at least so far, nervousness about the potential for inflation and a too-slow move toward tightening monetary policy appear to be giving support to precious metals. As long as that trend continues, Coeur Mining will have the potential to keep posting gains in its stock price and see healthier conditions in the silver market going forward.