The stock market experienced a volatile session on Tuesday, with major benchmarks initially carrying forward their momentum from Monday's huge surge but then giving up gains later in the day. The Nasdaq Composite was especially weak, as investors weren't certain that the leadership from technology stocks in pulling the market higher in recent years would be able to continue in the face of controversies surrounding social media and data use. Yet even with those concerns, some individual stocks posted solid gains. General Electric (NYSE:GE), Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR), and GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

Could GE finally draw interest?

Shares of General Electric rose 4% as investors speculated about the possibility of the industrial conglomerate potentially gaining the attention of activist or value investors. Some commentators suggested that even Warren Buffett might be interested in investing in GE if the stock were to fall far enough, although it's unclear whether the Oracle of Omaha would seek to make a regular equity investment or structure a more complex and lucrative deal. Skeptics remain convinced that General Electric has lost its way and that it'll take a long, drawn-out process to plot a successful turnaround, but that won't stop shares from responding to short-term hopes like this from time to time.

Jet engines in a manufacturing facility with workers nearby.

Image source: General Electric.

Sierra Wireless gets some love

Sierra Wireless stock jumped almost 7% after the Internet of Things specialist got favorable comments from an analyst company. Analysts at Roth Capital upgraded the stock from neutral to buy, raising their price target on Sierra Wireless to $22 per share, up $4 from the previous target. The stock hasn't been among investors' favorites over the past year, with substantial share-price declines stemming from decelerating growth. Yet if the integration of its acquisition of Numerex finally starts to make more dramatic progress in the near future, then Sierra Wireless could put some of its challenges behind it and convince shareholders that it's on the cutting edge of a key technology niche.

GoPro bounces back

Finally, shares of GoPro gained 4%. The sports-camera manufacturer finally mounted a a move upward after a big drop over the past several days. Investors have been evaluating the company's recent decision to enter into a licensing agreement with tech manufacturing specialist Jabil, which will enable Jabil to make cameras and sensors that partially incorporate intellectual property and design characteristics of GoPro products. Yet with GoPro's own product sales having seen substantial declines during the key holiday selling season, today's move higher seems more like a brief respite from sustained declines than a sign of a full turnaround.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends GoPro and Sierra Wireless. The Motley Fool is short shares of General Electric. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.