Friday marked a good end to a strong week for the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 1%, lifted in part by rising optimism that the U.S.-China trade talks might result in a favorable outcome in the near future. Earnings also helped boost sentiment among market participants. Among the top-performing stocks were Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), VF Corporation (NYSE:VFC), and Bank OZK (NASDAQ:OZK). Here's why they did so well.
Schlumberger fights back against tough industry conditions
Shares of Schlumberger rose 8% after the oil services giant reported its fourth-quarter financial results. The company closed the year with an 8% rise in both revenue and adjusted earnings, and Schlumberger kept its dividend unchanged, reassuring shareholders who had feared that falling oil prices might lead the company to cut its payout. Weak crude markets mean less demand for Schlumberger's materials and services, and OPEC production cuts could prove problematic. Yet oil prices have rebounded somewhat to start 2019, and shareholders seem more optimistic that a recovery could help Schlumberger's longer-term prospects.
VF celebrates the holidays
Retail company VF Corporation's stock picked up 12% in the wake of its fiscal third-quarter financial report, which covered the key holiday season. The apparel specialist said that it got particularly strong growth from its Vans footwear brand and its North Face outdoor apparel line, continuing trends from recent quarters. Notable gains in direct-to-consumer sales as well as revenue from the Chinese market added to VF's growth. The company also boosted its full-year forecast for revenue and net income, and CEO Steve Rendle thinks that VF is building momentum that should last into fiscal 2020 and beyond.
It's a good day for banking in the Ozarks
Finally, Bank OZK's shares soared 16%. The financial institution formerly known as Bank of the Ozarks said that its earnings during the fourth quarter of 2018 were the highest of the year, and Bank OZK produced impressive levels of internal returns and credit quality. CEO George Gleason pointed to the bank's strategic rebranding as a success, giving it a broader identity beyond its home region and potentially opening up expansion opportunities. Investors hope that the results foreshadow an even stronger 2019 ahead.