Thursday was a volatile day on Wall Street, even though most major indexes ended up pretty close to where they began the session. There's no shortage of drama available for market participants to look at, ranging from investigations in Washington to nervous speculation about how central banks across the globe will deal with troubling economic trends. Even with the downward pressure, though, some companies had investors feeling more optimistic. Tesla (TSLA -1.38%), Mobile Mini (MINI), and WillScot (WSC) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Tesla's looking to sell more cars

Shares of Tesla gained 6% after an announcement from the electric vehicle company's leader spurred enthusiasm about its sales prospects. CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla could well hit the 100,000 vehicle mark in terms of deliveries when it next reports quarterly results, which many see as an important milestone for the automaker. Moreover, net order flows seem to be healthy as well, with the potential to come in around 110,000 for the period. Many investors had already started to count Tesla out, but if Musk is right, then customers still seem to be loyal to the automaker's vehicles. That could spur more growth than some thought possible.

Tesla roadster in red on a road with bright sky and desert landscape behind.

Image source: Tesla.

WillScot contemplates buying Mobile Mini

Shares of Mobile Mini and WillScot both climbed, rising nearly 7% and 6%, respectively, on news that the two companies might be looking at a combination. Both companies are in the specialty rental services market, and WillScot is looking at making an offer of about $1.2 billion for Mobile Mini, according to reports late yesterday from Reuters. That would imply a share price in the mid-to-high $30s, just slightly above Mobile Mini's closing price Wednesday of $34.75 per share.

Today, analysts weighed in favorably about a possible deal, and Reuters further said that activist hedge fund investor Elliott Management has bought shares of Mobile Mini and will support an acquisition. Mobile Mini has recently started to recover as demand from the energy sector has boosted its tank and pump solutions business, and that could end up proving to be the impetus for getting a deal done between the two companies.