The stock market bounced back on Friday, with major benchmarks picking up around 1% or more in the aftermath of good news on the economic front. Favorable numbers in the monthly employment report showed that jobs are plentiful and unemployment levels remain low, and that seems like a recipe for continued expansion in the U.S. economy. Among individual stocks, earnings continued to dominate headlines, and U.S. Steel (X -2.82%), Wesco Aircraft Holdings (WAIR), and MercadoLibre (MELI -0.49%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
U.S. Steel heats up
Shares of U.S. Steel climbed 17% after the steelmaker reported its first-quarter financial results. Sales jumped 11% over year-ago levels, and earnings rose by nearly half on an adjusted basis. CEO David Burritt pointed to the success of U.S. Steel's strategic investments to focus on its most lucrative business segments, and improved pricing for flat-rolled and tubular steel products helped contribute to healthier results. In addition, the steelmaker said that it expects near-term future results to be fairly strong, and investors were pleased to see efforts to improve its production facilities and address emissions concerns while preparing for lower pricing if trade conditions change going forward.
Wesco flies higher
Wesco Aircraft Holdings saw its stock soar over 25% following the release of its fiscal second-quarter financial report. Higher revenue for chemical and hardware products helped lift overall sales by 9% from year-earlier levels, and adjusted net income inched up. Moreover, Wesco anticipates better full-year revenue growth than it originally projected, and CEO Todd Renehan pointed to cost savings efforts, growth-oriented investments, and addressing challenges in its European business as key elements to drive future success for the aerospace supply chain management company.
MercadoLibre gets post-earnings love
Finally, shares of MercadoLibre jumped 20%. The Latin American e-commerce specialist said that its MercadoPago payment system's growth helped power the company's results higher in the first quarter of 2019, with the total number of payment transactions nearly doubling from year-ago levels and big increases in total payment volume both inside and outside of its e-commerce marketplace. Good results for the MercadoEnvios shipping program as well as the namesake MercadoLibre marketplace also contributed to the gains, and Wall Street analysts weighed in with supportive comments about the company's prospects. With interest in financial technology companies growing, MercadoLibre's status as a play on payment systems is gaining in importance among reasons to own the stock.