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Why Stitch Fix, Westpac Banking, and HDFC Bank Jumped Today

By Dan Caplinger – May 20, 2019 at 4:31PM

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Political issues helped several overseas markets despite a down day in the U.S.

Monday was a down day on Wall Street, with most major benchmarks falling around 1%. Trade tensions have returned to the spotlight, and the recent move from the U.S. government to prevent companies from doing business with Huawei and others designated as threats to national security had ramifications across the market, especially in the technology industry. However, some political victories in overseas markets were seen as being favorable to the investment community, causing key stocks in those regions to rise. Stitch Fix (SFIX -2.67%), Westpac Banking (WBK), and HDFC Bank (HDB -1.16%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Stitch Fix keeps delivering

Shares of Stitch Fix gained 5.5%, bouncing back from poor performance late last week. The subscription-based clothing delivery specialist has seen tough times for quite a while so far in 2019, as rising competition and concerns about future growth prospects have weighed on the stock price. Yet bullish investors are optimistic about Stitch Fix's plans to enter the U.K. market, marking its first major international expansion effort. Not only could the move help Stitch Fix boost its overall subscriber counts, but it could also build new relationships with prominent global apparel brands that could widen its appeal both at home and abroad. Investors seem to be focusing on those prospects today, even though Stitch Fix faces an uphill climb in the category.

Stitch Fix box on a faux-granite doorstep in front of a purple door.

Image source: Stitch Fix.

Westpac gets a boost

Westpac Banking's shares picked up 9% following a surprise victory for Australia's ruling Liberal-National coalition government. Coming into Saturday's elections, many predicted that Prime Minister Scott Morrison's party would suffer defeat at the hands of the Labor party, and investors were nervous that Labor policies would be less favorable to business and commerce. Morrison's apparent victory gave Australian investors more confidence in the government's being able to continue the work it's done to foster economic growth. For Westpac, a more favorable economic environment means a better chance to fight off some of the headwinds that the bank has had to deal with lately as the global economy slows.

HDFC hits all-time highs

Finally, shares of HDFC Bank got a 6% boost. Politics were the primary catalyst for the Indian bank as well, as the last round of India's elections on Sunday led to a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata party. Like Australia's Morrison, Modi has been seen as favoring pro-business policies, and the Indian stock market has generally responded favorably over the course of his first term in office. With early results pointing to a second term, India's stock market pushed sharply higher. Given the importance of HDFC Bank as a key financial institution that has supported India's overall economic growth, investors are more optimistic than ever that it could help power the emerging market nation through tough times globally.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Stitch Fix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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