Stocks rebounded somewhat on Tuesday, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average earned back only a small portion of the ground that it has lost over the past several days. Economic growth concerns remained the primary worry among investors, and even as the Federal Reserve started its two-day meeting on monetary policy, plunging oil markets took crude prices well below $50 per barrel and signaled a potential global recession. Yet some stocks, especially in the budding marijuana industry, moved significantly higher. Tilray (TLRY), Aphria (APHA), and Navistar International (NAV) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Tilray finds a pharma partner
Shares of Tilray soared nearly 17% after the cannabis company announced a new collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NVS 0.08%). The pharma company's Sandoz generic drug business entered into a global supply and distribution agreement with Tilray, under which the marijuana grower will supply Sandoz with medical cannabis in jurisdictions where it's legal. The move is huge for Tilray, because it will give the company access to the sales and distribution channels that Sandoz has spent years putting in place. With the potential to enter into more markets, Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy sees the opportunity as "inspir[ing] trust and confidence with pharmacists around the world" about the value of cannabis for medical purposes.
Aphria expands a key licensing agreement
Aphria's stock price rose 8% in response to a strategic move to expand the company's global scope. The cannabis specialist broadened its existing licensing agreement with Rapid Dose Therapeutics to offer its QuickStrip oral drug delivery system to customers in Germany, which has been a fast-growing marijuana market. The product has the advantage of being a discreet, smoke-free way to use cannabis, and Aphria expects to offer CBD-containing QuickStrips in Germany by next spring. Investors hope that the move will help Aphria stock rebound further from its recent losses, but there will be plenty of competition among marijuana companies vying for position in key global markets.
Navistar drives ahead
Finally, Navistar International shares finished higher by 16%. The truck manufacturer reported fiscal fourth-quarter financial results that included a 28% surge in revenue, led by healthy sales of trucks and buses in the U.S. and Canada. CEO Troy Clarke called 2018 "a breakout year for Navistar," citing new momentum toward building up market share. From a financial standpoint, Navistar's also made progress by selling off a majority stake in its defense business to private equity investment company Cerberus Capital, and favorable guidance for fiscal 2019 has shareholders more excited than they've been in a long time about the truck specialist's future.