Stocks continued their roller-coaster ride on Tuesday as major benchmarks scored impressive gains. Even though investors seemed to lose momentum toward the end of the session on Monday, positive comments from Chinese officials succeeded in easing fears about a potential trade war, and that helped refocus most market participants on the impending start to earnings season. Good news for certain individual stocks also helped power the indexes higher. Sprint (S), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), and NVIDIA (NVDA -3.33%) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

Sprint looks for a deal

Shares of Sprint climbed 17% in the wake of news that the telecom company might once again be in talks to get an acquisition bid from rival wireless carrier T-Mobile US (TMUS 0.57%). The on-again, off-again deal has been in the works for years without having made progress, but the realities of needing to address the huge costs of upgrading to new 5G network standards poses a substantial competitive obstacle that could make a combination more rewarding. Antitrust concerns will remain intact, especially given that a Sprint/T-Mobile merger would reduce the number of major carriers in the U.S. market to just three. Nevertheless, hope springs eternal, and investors seem to have at least some confidence that a deal might get done.

Laptop with a Sprint label on it in front of a background of green bushes.

Image source: Sprint.

Spectrum releases promising results

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals stock soared 42% after the company released an update from a promising clinical trial. The biotech specialist said that its updated phase 2 data in a study of its poziotinib candidate treatment for non-small cell lung cancer resulted in a preliminary confirmed objective response rate and potential progression-free survival benefit in patients with the EGFR Exon 20 Mutant form of the disease. Conducted at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the study shows "additional insight into just how meaningful poziotinib may be in this area of high unmet need," according to CEO Joe Turgeon. There's still a long way to go before clinical studies are complete, but the news is still promising for shareholders in the biotech.

NVIDIA gets favorable comments

Finally, shares of NVIDIA jumped 6%. The graphics chip giant gained ground following comments about the company from stock analysts at Needham & Company, who said that concerns among some investors are unfounded. Some have feared that falling prices for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could hurt demand for NVIDIA products, and that self-driving car accidents could slow down artificial intelligence efforts. Yet NVIDIA still has plenty of demand from actual gamers who provide the core demand for graphics processing chips, and shareholders seem to be more confident now that NVIDIA can bounce back from its recent slump to become stronger than ever. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley also pointed to NVIDIA's dominance in GPUs as a compelling factor for the stock.