Wednesday was a generally good day for investors on Wall Street, featuring a gentle rise of about 0.15% to 0.25% for major benchmarks like the Dow and the S&P 500. The White House continued to make its case for the tax reform proposal it has put before lawmakers, and the release of the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting last month also hinted that the central bank wants to be careful not to tighten monetary policy too quickly. In addition to the generally positive mood among investors, some individual stocks had encouraging news that lifted their shares higher. Snap (NYSE:SNAP), Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN), and Pretium Resources (NYSE:PVG) 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.

Is Snap finally finding its way?

Shares of Snap climbed 11.5% as analysts looked favorably at the social media company's latest efforts to try to make itself more relevant in a crowded competitive space. Analysts at Credit Suisse raised their price target on Snap stock from $17 to $20 per share, arguing that the company's attempts to offer an easier way for advertisers to adapt their promotional materials to a vertically oriented screen format could help give Snap an edge over other mobile-oriented advertisers. Although a new strategy could cost Snap in the short run, it promises positive long-term network effects if it succeeds in drawing a wider customer base. Even after today's gains, Snap is still below its IPO price, but shareholders are getting more optimistic about its future.

Special customized Snap glasses.

Snap Spectacles. Image source: Snap.

Seattle Genetics keeps moving forward

Seattle Genetics stock gained 6.5% after making a couple of intriguing announcements. The company said yesterday that it had begun its phase 2 clinical trial of enfortumab vedotin, a candidate drug developed in conjunction with partner Astellas Pharma for treatment of urothelial cancer. In addition, Seattle Genetics will collaborate with a couple of other partners in evaluating its SGN-LIV1A antibody-drug conjugate in treating a form of breast cancer. The biotech company is still losing considerable amounts of money, but it's hopeful that a healthy pipeline of potential marketable treatments could turn the tide toward profitability if successful.

Pretium shines

Finally, shares of Pretium Resources soared 25%. The British Columbian mining company released its third-quarter production figures, which included more than 82,000 ounces of gold and a gold recovery rate of almost 96.5%. The company's Brucejack mine has proven to be intriguing, with high ore grades and improving processing speeds. Having worked through some low-grade stockpiles, Pretium's production accelerated toward the end of the quarter, and investors were pleased to see the company's mining operations paying off. As overall bullishness on gold increases, more investors will be looking at miners like Pretium to produce big gains.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Seattle Genetics. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.