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Why Tesla, Marathon Oil, and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – Apr 5, 2018 at 4:32PM

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Find out why these stocks helped lead the market higher.

The stock market did well on Thursday, with triple-digit gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and solid advances for broader benchmarks as well. Investors largely shrugged off concerns about trade disputes and macroeconomic challenges, expecting that the March report on the U.S. employment picture will likely show signs of continued growth that should point to an ongoing expansion for the economy. Some good showings from individual stocks also helped bolster market sentiment. Tesla (TSLA -4.59%), Marathon Oil (MRO -10.94%), and Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT 0.00%) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

Tesla accelerates higher

Shares of Tesla jumped another 6.5%, bringing its gains over the past three days to more than 20%. The stock has bounced back sharply from recent lows because of good fundamental news from the electric car manufacturer, including signs of rising production rates that should keep the company from needing to raise more capital during the rest of 2018. Share prices had plunged after a poorly timed April Fools' joke from CEO Elon Musk raised bankruptcy fears, but bullish investors hope that a run rate of 2,000 Model 3 vehicles per week will only increase in the future. If that happens, then Tesla will finally start to gain recognition as being a viable long-term player in the massive auto industry.

Dark-colored Tesla car on a road with hills and foggy landscape behind.

Image source: Tesla.

Marathon looks more energetic

Marathon Oil stock added 6% on a good day for the energy sector. Oil prices themselves didn't show huge gains, with a rise of just $0.20 to bring the price above $63.50 per barrel. Yet after lagging behind the crude market for some time, oil stocks bounced back, with a sector ETF covering the energy space seeing gains of more than 2%. Marathon has been in the right place at the right time, building up exposure to lucrative shale plays in the U.S. market. That strategy has worked well, and if prices can keep rising, then Marathon looks well-positioned to see profits keep growing over the long run.

Intercept raises capital

Finally, shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals rose 10%. The biopharmaceutical company said that it had successfully priced its secondary offering of common stock, raising the size of the offering to about 2.34 million shares and selling it at a price of $64 per share. Intercept also said that at the same time as the public offering, it had agreed to sell another 1.56 million shares to major institutional shareholders in a private placement for the same price. All told, the offering should raise $250 million for Intercept, and that should give the biotech company plenty of capital to fund its research and development efforts as well as its commercialization of its existing drug pipeline. That should make those who see Intercept as being cheap even more excited about the stock going forward.

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

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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$275.33 (-4.59%) $-13.26
Marathon Oil Corporation Stock Quote
Marathon Oil Corporation
$21.90 (-10.94%) $-2.69
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Stock Quote
Intercept Pharmaceuticals
$15.24 (0.00%) $0.00

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