Tuesday was a weak day on Wall Street, as early enthusiasm about the potential for progress on trade disputes between the U.S. and China gave way to concerns about the course of future monetary policy and a possible economic recession. Despite the fact that most major benchmarks fell, many stocks managed to post solid gains. Papa John's International (PZZA -2.36%), Caleres (CAL 2.45%), and Standex International (SXI -0.01%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

New Papa John's CEO sparks hopes for a turnaround

Shares of Papa John's International jumped 9.5% after the pizza chain announced that it would bring in an executive from fast-food restaurant company Arby's to be its new chief executive officer. Rob Lynch will reportedly join Papa John's to try to structure a comeback for the ailing pizza specialist, which has suffered from controversy surrounding the relationship between founder and former CEO John Schnatter and Papa John's board of directors. Yet Lynch will still have his work cut out for him, as Papa John's reaffirmed that it expects comparable sales in North America to fall 1% to 4% this year. Nevertheless, investors are excited that the new CEO could get the company moving in the right direction.

Papa John's logo.

Image source: Papa John's.

Caleres is back on the right foot

Footwear specialist Caleres saw its stock soar 24% following its release of second-quarter financial results. The company behind Famous Footwear, Dr. Scholl's, Naturalizer, and other shoe brands said that revenue was up 6.5% from year-ago levels, with positive comps reported at the Famous Footwear retail store network. Adjusted earnings were also better than expected, and guidance for the rest of the year was favorable. There have been plenty of concerns about the impact that trade disputes could have on Caleres, but at least for now, the footwear company seems to be making the right moves.

Standex engineers a strong quarter

Finally, shares of Standex International skyrocketed 22.5%. The diversified industrial company saw a 3% rise in revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, which helped boost net income from continuing operations by 16% from year-ago levels. Standex's engineering technologies, hydraulics, and scientific segments were especially strong. CEO David Dunbar also noted the company's longer-term wins, saying that "despite challenges in some of our end markets, we continued to make significant progress in the quarter and fiscal year in regard to our strategic priorities." That bodes well for those looking for sustained growth from the industrial company.