The stock market continued to lose ground on Thursday, with major benchmarks once again posting significant declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished near its lows of the day, falling 546 points despite multiple efforts to cut its losses during the session. Even though most indexes are still up for 2018, investor confidence seems to be eroding badly after nearly a decade of bull market gains. Nevertheless, some good news from a handful of individual stocks let them buck the downtrend and move higher. Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX), Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE), and RH (NYSE:RH) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Barrick looks golden
Shares of Barrick Gold jumped 9.5% after the company reported preliminary sales and production results for the third quarter of 2018. The gold miner said that it sold 1.2 million ounces of gold and 114 million pounds of copper, reaping average prices of $1,213 per gold ounce and $2.77 per copper pound, and gold sales were up 16% from second-quarter totals. Production lagged slightly behind at 1.15 million gold ounces and 106 million pounds of copper, but better performance at the company's Barrick Nevada mining complex helped to push those gold production numbers higher by 8%. Barrick maintained its guidance for the full year, and as shareholders prepare to vote on the company's bid to buy Randgold Resources, Barrick's ability to remain a leader in the field is reassuring.
Green Plains makes some green
Green Plains soared 17.5% in the wake of its decision to sell some of its production assets to a rival energy company. The ethanol producer decided to sell three of its plants across the Midwest to a renewable-energy subsidiary of Valero Energy for $300 million. Although the move reduces Green Plains' capacity for ethanol production by about 20%, the company sees it as a key effort to improve its balance sheet, with the hope of eliminating or at least significantly reducing its debt levels by the end of the year. That means further sales are likely, but investors are hopeful that the resulting scaled-down Green Plains will have better opportunities for long-term success.
RH spends more money on stock
Finally, shares of RH gained 10%. The upscale luxury home furnishings retailer announced yet another move to repurchase its shares, this time committing another $700 million toward buybacks. The authorization covers almost 30% of RH's current market capitalization and comes after the company already spent more than $1 billion last year on stock repurchases. Many remain skeptical of RH's plans to turn itself around, but few can deny how well the retailer's extensive buyback activity has done at restoring interest in the stock.