The stock market started 2019 on a positive note, with major indexes bouncing back from substantial losses early in the trading session. Investors came into the new year worried about sluggish economic performance in China, but enthusiasm about prospects for the U.S. economy seemed to give market participants some reassurance. Good news from some high-profile companies also lifted sentiment, and General Electric (NYSE:GE), Bausch Health (NYSE:BHC), and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
GE looks for a comeback
Shares of General Electric climbed 6%. After posting a huge 57% loss in 2018, GE has investors looking forward to seeing whether it can successfully transform itself by emphasizing its highest-growth businesses. CEO Larry Culp has a number of strategic moves planned, including the possibility of spinning off its profitable healthcare unit and emphasizing the strength of its aviation division. To satisfy nervous shareholders, though, General Electric will have to look at shoring up its capital structure in order to avoid having its extensive debt drag the company down over the long run.
Bausch looks healthier
Bausch Health saw its stock rise 9.5% after getting positive comments from an analyst. Piper Jaffray upgraded shares of the healthcare company from neutral to overweight, boosting its price target on the stock by $5 to $27 per share. The company's rebranding has gone well, with some of the baggage from its earlier days as Valeant Pharmaceuticals having disappeared over time, and emphasizing the Bausch line of eye-care products has made investors more confident in Bausch's long-term potential. Even so, Bausch CEO Joe Papa still has to make more progress if the company wants to get anywhere near its stock's past highs.
Macau helps Wynn Resorts
Finally, Wynn Resorts shares picked up nearly 6%. The casino resort giant got a boost from favorable metrics in the Macau gaming market, which reported overall industrywide revenue of $37.6 billion in 2018, up 14% from 2017 levels. December's year-over-year gain of nearly 17% was above the 10% to 15% projected growth as well. Some still believe that Wynn could face weaker demand in Macau later this year, but for now, shareholders are optimistic that the casino company will avoid the full brunt of an East Asian recession.