The stock market was volatile on Wednesday, with major benchmarks initially moving sharply lower in the morning and then regaining all of their lost ground by the early afternoon before finishing with modest declines. Some earnings-related disappointments contributed to the downbeat mood at the beginning of the session, and even after the midday rebound, news that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue to tighten monetary policy threw some cold water on investor sentiment concerning the strong U.S. economy. Good news from several corners of the market produced some big winners among individual stocks, and Caesars Entertainment (CZR), United Continental Holdings (UAL), and Vicor (VICR) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Who's betting on Caesars?
Shares of Caesars Entertainment climbed 12% on reports that billionaire investor Tilman Fertitta might be interested in joining forces with the casino resort operator. Fertitta, who owns the Golden Nugget line of casino properties, reportedly would be willing to make a deal that could put a value of roughly $13 per share on Caesars, with various sources telling different news outlets about alternative structures for a combination that could leave Caesars as the surviving entity. Caesars itself has been looking at both expansion plans into Macau and possible strategic partnerships, but it's unclear whether a deal with Golden Nugget would be consistent with its wishes.
United flies higher
United Continental Holdings stock gained 6% after the operator of United Airlines reported its third-quarter financial results. United said that net income jumped almost 30% from the year-ago period, with the key airline metric of passenger revenue per available seat mile climbing more than 6% during the period. Despite higher fuel costs, the airline was successful in growing its revenue at a faster pace than its expenses, and United boosted its full-year earnings guidance toward the higher end of its previous range. Strong travel demand has prompted United to modernize its fleet, and those efforts look like they're paying off for the airline even with jet fuel prices moving higher.
Vicor powers up
Finally, shares of Vicor finished higher by 11%. The maker of power systems and modular power components reported a 37% jump in revenue during the third quarter of 2018 compared to the year-earlier quarter, with greater-than-40% growth in bookings during the same period. The company reversed a year-ago loss, and CEO Patrizio Vinciarelli pointed to the fact that "the broadening adoption of our highly differentiated solutions is beginning to reflect the substantial investments we have made in advanced technologies over the last 15 years." With key ties to some important tech companies, Vicor could get greater visibility among investors in the near future.