Wednesday was a volatile day on Wall Street, with major market indexes jumping to big gains early in the session before giving them all up by noon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up climbing modestly, but other benchmarks saw smaller advances as investors tried to parse all the positive and negative factors influencing financial markets currently. Yet several individual stocks managed to move convincingly higher. Accuray (NASDAQ:ARAY), Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF), and Waters (NYSE:WAT) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Accuray sees greater device demand
Shares of Accuray rose 11% after the medical device manufacturer reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results. The manufacturer of the CyberKnife surgical system and Radixact radiation therapy device said that revenue was up just 2% from the year-earlier quarter, disappointing most of those following the stock. However, Accuray's net loss was narrower than expected, and a nearly 30% jump in orders showed the promise that the company has. If key foreign markets like China continue to do as well as they have recently, Accuray could have a long runway ahead of it.
Synchrony bounces back
Synchrony Financial's stock gained nearly 11% in the wake of two pieces of good news for the bank. First, Synchrony reported fourth-quarter financial results that included unexpectedly good revenue and earnings numbers, helping to build confidence in the company's strategic efforts. Also, retail giant Walmart said that it would drop a pending lawsuit against Synchrony concerning its loan portfolio, choosing instead to extend a strategic partnership between the bank and its Sam's Club unit. Now, investors can focus on Synchrony's strong business fundamentals in offering store-branded credit cards and high-yield savings options for consumers.
Waters measures out solid gains
Finally, shares of specialty measurement company Waters finished the day higher by almost 13%. The company said that it posted a solid profit during the fourth quarter of 2018, reversing a year-earlier loss on sales growth of 4%. Waters said that demand for pharmaceutical and thermal analysis products was especially strong, and it also pointed to the Chinese market as a growth driver. The company also made a move to make shareholders happy, announcing a $4 billion stock buyback authorization over the next two years. With a rosy outlook for the future, Waters has investors quite pleased with its latest report.