The stock market went on a bit of a roller-coaster ride Wednesday, posting solid gains early in the day that sent major benchmarks up more than 1%. The release of the minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee in the afternoon initially propelled stocks to even greater heights, as some investors interpreted them as suggesting that they could expect continued accommodation on the interest rate front. Yet the bond market disagreed, and as the 10-year Treasury yield got ever-closer to the psychologically important 3% mark, indexes fell sharply, with the Dow finishing down 167 points. Good news from several individual companies, however, helped their stocks buck the downtrend, and LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN), Quad/Graphics (NYSE:QUAD), and Chefs' Warehouse (NASDAQ:CHEF) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
LivePerson runs ahead
Shares of LivePerson jumped 10% after the high-tech customer support specialist reported encouraging results in its fourth-quarter financials. Revenue started to move higher for the period after a long stretch of lackluster performance for the company, and break-even earnings on an adjusted basis suggested that consistent profitability might finally be around the corner. LivePerson has had a flurry of new deals come in, showing the demand for its chat-based support solutions, and new clients are looking to take advantage of ways to communicate with their own customers more efficiently. As long as that trend continues, LivePerson could continue to make progress.
Quad/Graphics makes a purchase
Quad/Graphics stock soared 26% in the wake of the company's fourth-quarter financial release and an announcement about an acquisition. The marketing solutions specialist said that sales fell 3%, and year-over-year earnings gains of 47% largely resulted from the beneficial impact of tax reform. Yet the company announced the acquisition of leading industry services provider Ivie & Associates, and Quad/Graphics hopes that the strategic move will accelerate its transition toward what it's calling its Quad 3.0 transformation. Investors liked the company's guidance for consistent performance in 2018, and with interest in marketing services on the rise, the post-merger Quad/Graphics could have new opportunities to carry its business higher.
Chefs' Warehouse serves up a tasty quarter
Finally, shares of Chefs' Warehouse finished higher by more than 13%. The specialty high-end food distributor overcame difficult conditions due to wildfires in the key California region to produce sales and earnings growth, as a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic sales gains helped power the company higher. Despite challenges in the protein side of the business, Chefs' Warehouse sees continued demand for specialty food products, where it has a competitive advantage over would-be entrants to the food distribution space. With encouraging guidance, Chefs' Warehouse is positioned to profit from greater awareness of food quality for the foreseeable future.