The stock market lost ground on Friday, with major benchmarks giving back some of their gains from Thursday's strong session. Yet many investors were relatively upbeat, noting that although many of the largest companies in the economy that have the greatest weight in key indexes were weaker, many smaller stocks enjoyed gains, buoyed by hopes for helpful tax reform measures and other catalysts for future growth. Moreover, some well-known companies had good news that helped to bolster confidence throughout the markets. Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), and NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) 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.

Abercrombie looks ready for the holidays

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch soared by 24% after the teen fashion retailer reported exceptionally strong results in its third-quarter financials. Revenue climbed 5% on a 4% rise in comparable-store sales, with the Hollister store brand leading the way higher with 8% growth in comps. Cost-cutting measures also helped send the bottom line higher by a larger margin than expected, and Abercrombie sees another low-single-digit percentage rise in same-store sales coming for the fourth quarter of the year. Abercrombie & Fitch still has further to go before its turnaround is complete, but the company looks to be in far better shape than it was this time last year.

Rising stock chart on digital map of world

Image source: Getty Images.

Splunk sales soar

Splunk stock climbed 18% in the wake of its own strong third-quarter financial report. Sales jumped 34% on a 38% rise in billings, with the operational intelligence provider bringing on more than 450 new enterprise customers to its platform. More companies are looking to take maximum advantage of the data they collect, and Splunk offers them the chance to use a variety of tools in order to get the answers they need. Favorable expectations for the remainder of this year as well as next year helped further bolster confidence that Splunk has room to grow well into the future.

NetEase posts another win

Finally, shares of NetEase gained 13%. Earlier this week, the Chinese video game giant reported earnings results for its third quarter that only managed flat net income compared to year-earlier figures, but investors were prepared for less favorable performance from NetEase. The stock has risen more than 20% in the past two sessions, and investors appear to be optimistic about the prospects for its existing games, its in-house original content, and its collaborations with outside developers like Minecraft producer Mojang. Conditions look favorable in the industry in China, and NetEase is doing a good job of leading the way among gaming specialists in the emerging-market economy.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends NetEase and Splunk. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.