The stock market vaulted higher on Tuesday, buoyed by comments that suggested that the Federal Reserve might be willing to reduce interest rates in the U.S. if the economy begins to show signs of weakness. Remarks from various officials at the central bank seemed to open the door to an abrupt reversal in policy as soon as its meeting later this month, despite the fact that the Fed spent much of the past couple of years raising interest rates. Major indexes climbed roughly 2%, but some stocks picked up even bigger gains. Mattel (MAT 0.34%), Continental Resources (CLR 3.16%), and The Trade Desk (TTD -3.33%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Mattel makes some moves
Shares of Mattel climbed nearly 12% as the toy maker announced that it would enter into some partnerships designed to broaden the scope of its product line. One partnership involves a movie based on Mattel's Magic 8 Ball toy, but probably the more important deal saw Mattel enter into an international licensing agreement with Sanrio, the company behind the international hit Hello Kitty. With toys based on Hello Kitty to be released almost worldwide in late 2020, Mattel hopes to boost its global appeal -- and even though the toy company got word it would be demoted from the S&P 500 to the S&P 400 Midcap index, shareholders think that Mattel will be in a better position going forward.
Continental gets shareholder-friendly
Continental Resources saw its stock jump 15% after the oil and gas exploration and production company surprised investors by announcing measures to return capital to its shareholders. Continental said that it would start paying a dividend of $0.05 per share on a quarterly basis, giving it an initial modest yield of 0.5%. In addition, the energy company said it would authorize a $1 billion share repurchase program, which is sizable given its roughly $15 billion market capitalization. Even in a challenging environment for energy prices, Continental has done a great job of getting itself into a better position financially. Today, shareholders are reaping the rewards for their patience, and even though the company still has more work to do, things are looking more promising for Continental than they have in a long time.
The Trade Desk trades higher
Finally, shares of The Trade Desk soared 13%. The programmatic advertising specialist had seen sizable losses over the past week, as investors in general got scared of exposure to high-growth technology companies. Yet as some of those following the antitrust concerns among the biggest tech companies have noted, The Trade Desk potentially offers competition to its larger peers in helping users evolve past outdated business models of internet and mobile advertising. Investors have gotten used to The Trade Desk's stock being volatile, but in today's big move higher, optimism that the ad company can cash in on growth opportunities looked convincing.