The stock market generally kept treading water on Thursday, with small moves for most major benchmarks. As the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 approach their all-time highs, investors seem to want some final catalyst to push them over the brink into record territory, and until one appears, the market seems to have lost momentum. Yet some individual stocks had no problem posting large gains. Yelp (NYSE:YELP), MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), and Worldpay (NYSE:WP) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.

Yelp gets a bigger audience

Shares of Yelp soared nearly 27% after the online review specialist reported its second-quarter financial results. Sales climbed 12% on a 21% jump in advertising revenue, and investors were especially pleased that Yelp picked up 17,000 new paying advertising accounts in just the past three months. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman attributed much of the good news to Yelp's having completed its transition to selling non-term local advertising, and the company has high hopes for other growth initiatives that it sees leading to better full-year results in sales and adjusted pre-tax operating profit. Some naysayers are less certain, but at least for today, Yelp has persuaded shareholders that good times are poised to continue.

Cartoon pile of goods, including shoe, burger, ice cream float, teacup, plate, and wrench, with Yelp logo above.

Image source: Yelp.

MercadoLibre overcomes Brazilian obstacles

MercadoLibre stock rose almost 12% in the wake of the Latin American e-commerce giant's second-quarter financial report. MercadoLibre saw 18% revenue growth on even stronger gains in gross billings, and although net losses were wider than expected, investors were willing to accept the company's explanation that a truckers' strike in Brazil played a major role in pulling down unique buyer growth. Impressive results for the MercadoPago payment platform and the MercadoEnvios shipping service also bolstered MercadoLibre's overall growth, and the company's success in handling the transition to mobile-based systems has made shareholders a lot more confident about MercadoLibre's ties to the Latin American economy and its future ups and downs.

Worldpay collects

Finally, shares of Worldpay gained 9%. The payment company has come a long way in a short time, taking advantage of greater scale and cost savings since Cincinnati-based Vantiv merged with the company earlier this year. Worldpay's just-released second-quarter results included a 90% jump in revenue due to the merger, with pro forma combined sales rising a solid 11%. A 25% boost in adjusted earnings per share shows the speed with which the two companies have combined forces, and Worldpay also boosted its outlook, predicting faster organic revenue growth and higher adjusted earnings. As global payments become increasingly important, Worldpay has established itself as a key player in the space.

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