The stock market managed to regain a bit of ground Thursday, recovering from an early drop as investors continued to try to parse through the many uncertainties facing them on the macroeconomic and geopolitical fronts. Gains for major benchmarks were as high as 1%, but a few companies managed to see even stronger moves higher. Okta (OKTA -0.80%), Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF 1.12%), and Aurora Cannabis (ACB -2.37%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Okta gets a thumbs-up
Shares of Okta climbed 11% after the cloud-based identity protection service provider got favorable comments from a prominent analyst company. SunTrust upgraded Okta's stock from hold to buy and made a modest increase in its target price, which rose $4 to $134 per share. SunTrust is impressed that Okta is executing on its business model as well as it has recently, and the identity protection business has generated strong margins and attracted increasingly important clients. With Okta having experienced a significant pullback lately, shareholders are pleased to see the stock moving back in the right direction.
Cleveland-Cliffs gets an invitation
Cleveland-Cliffs saw its stock climb 9% after it got good news from S&P Dow Jones Indices. The index manager said that it would add Cleveland-Cliffs to its S&P SmallCap 600 Index. The change will take effect before the market opens on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The move results from an acquisition of a member of S&P's MidCap 400 index, and the iron ore producer will take the place of the company that's getting promoted to the mid-cap index to fill the vacancy. Cleveland-Cliffs has recovered nicely in recent years, and its decision to reinstate its dividend made many investors more interested in the stock and its prospects for the future.
High times for Aurora
Finally, shares of Aurora Cannabis picked up 9%. The marijuana cultivator told investors today that its global production facility construction projects had achieved important milestones, including its Aurora Sun growth facility in Alberta, its Nordic Sky project in Denmark, and its Whistler Pemberton organic cannabis growth facility. The company also said that its construction of Aurora Polaris, its value-added product production hub, is nearly complete and should start operating in November. Investors have been cool on cannabis stocks lately, but Aurora's news seemed to perk up interest in the sector again.