Investors adopted a more downbeat attitude on Wednesday, as stock indexes posted modest losses and gave back a portion of the ground they gained the previous session. In the absence of substantial progress in resolving key areas of uncertainty, market participants seem content to wait and see what happens on issues affecting trade, global economic growth, and geopolitical tension. Yet even with much of the market treading water, some companies managed to have good things happen that boosted their share prices. Avon Products (NYSE:AVP), Sea Limited (NYSE:SE), and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Avon calling -- from Brazil

Shares of Avon Products jumped 9% on reports that the cosmetics specialist has been talking with a Brazilian beauty products company about a possible acquisition. Natura Cosmeticos and Avon have been in what the U.S. company called "advanced discussions" regarding a possible all-stock merger, with Natura saying that it would likely make a bid that would value Avon at more than $2 billion. Under the deal as contemplated, Natura shareholders would own about three-quarters of the combined entity's stock following the merger. Both companies urged investors to understand that no transaction had yet been finalized, but with speculation having gone on for some time, many hope that Avon and Natura will pull the trigger and get a deal done.

Office lobby with Avon logo on wall, with white and pink desk and various pictures and products.

Image source: Avon Products.

Sea Limited makes waves

Sea Limited's stock soared 24% following the release of the Asian digital entertainment and e-commerce specialist's first-quarter financial results. Sea said that adjusted revenue nearly tripled from year-earlier levels, and adjusted pre-tax operating losses narrowed considerably over the same period. The performance of the Free Fire video game platform helped bolster active users and revenue from Sea's digital entertainment segment, while the Shopee e-commerce app kept gaining ground in key areas of Southeast Asia and Taiwan. With CEO Forrest Li seeing potentially better growth ahead, things are looking up for Sea.

A fill-up for Clean Energy Fuels

Finally, shares of Clean Energy Fuels finished higher by 8%. The natural gas fueling specialist got good news from a key customer, as United Parcel Service said that it had committed to a natural gas fuel purchase equivalent to 170 million gallons of conventional fuel. The move should help UPS meet its commitments to reduce its carbon footprint over the next six years, and it marks the largest order that Clean Energy Fuels has received to date. There's still plenty of competition in serving the natural gas fuel market, but Clean Energy has done a good job of getting out to a head start as other players in the industry try to catch up.