The stock market finished a winning week on Friday, with most major benchmarks ending the day flat. The indexes mostly stayed in the green despite pressure from various fronts, including some high-profile earnings reports in the tech sector and the announcement of indictments in connection with alleged Russian tampering in the 2016 U.S. election. Yet some companies saw their stocks soar on good news. U.S. Steel (NYSE:X), Synchronoss Technologies (NASDAQ:SNCR), and MuleSoft (NYSE:MULE) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Tariff possibilities lift steel stocks
Shares of U.S. Steel soared 15% after the U.S. Department of Commerce recommended that the federal government impose tariffs on imports of metals including steel and aluminum. The recommendation includes a blanket 24% tariff on steel generally, but higher tariffs of at least 53% would apply to steel from a dozen countries, including China and Russia. After years of struggling due to overproduction from overseas steel manufacturers and their negative impact on global steel prices, tariffs would at least allow U.S. Steel to play on an even field domestically with international foes -- even if it might prompt a trade war that would threaten any exports that U.S. Steel made.
Synchronoss gets some support
Synchronoss Technologies stock gained 21% in the wake of an influx of capital from a private investors. The cloud-computing specialist closed a $185 million sale of preferred stock to private equity company Siris Capital Group, accepting nearly 6 million shares of common stock and $97.7 million in cash as payment. The preferred shares are convertible at a price of $18 per share, which is roughly double where Synchronoss currently trades, but they also have an annual dividend rate of 14.5%. Given that the company still hasn't made any quarterly filings for the 2017 year, being able to access capital is valuable for Synchronoss even under terms that appear less than ideal at best.
Finally, shares of MuleSoft jumped 18%. The application network platform provider released fourth-quarter financial results that included 60% revenue growth and a narrower net loss than in the year-ago period. Solid guidance also gave investors confidence in MuleSoft's future. The company sees demand remaining strong for services that can help enterprise customers create application programming interfaces using information from a number of different sources. Customers especially like MuleSoft's tools to more easily organize and utilize data that can reside in several different locations both on-site and in the cloud. The stock has been volatile since its early 2017 IPO, but today's move sends the stock to new highs, and that positive momentum could continue in the future.