The stock market jumped higher on Tuesday, buoyed by a couple of favorable trends. Earnings season got off to a positive start, with several high-profile companies giving optimistic assessments of the current state of the U.S. economy. Also, comments from the European Union raised hopes that a U.K. Brexit deal might be forthcoming. Some individual companies had good news to give their shareholders today, and Aphria (NASDAQ:APHA), Reata Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RETA), and NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Aphria rises higher on strong earnings

Shares of Aphria soared 24% after the cannabis specialist reported strong fiscal first-quarter financial results. Revenue jumped almost 850% from the year-ago period, and Aphria was able to post a modest profit of 16.4 million Canadian dollars. Even though sales were down slightly from where they were three months ago, Aphria attributed the top-line decline to efforts to focus on higher-margin business lines. The company expects to meet production capacity targets of 255,000 kilos annually once it gets all its facilities fully licensed and operational. Investors seem optimistic that even after a tough time for marijuana stocks, Aphria's strategy of focusing on international growth and value-added products will pay off in the long run.

Aphria logo of multicolored circle with stylized A inside.

Image source: Aphria.

Reata posts favorable trial results

Reata Pharmaceuticals saw its stock skyrocket 57% following its release of positive results in a trial for one of its candidate treatments. Reata said that a portion of its phase 2 trial of Friedreich's ataxia drug omaveloxolone met its primary endpoint of showing statistically significant improvement on a disease rating scale after 48 weeks of treatment. Because of the strong results, the company expects to move forward to obtain marketing approval for omaveloxolone in the U.S. and overseas. Omaveloxolone is just one of many drugs in Reata's pipeline, but investors are pleased to see such significant progress on what they hope could become a key contributor to the clinical stage biotech's long-term performance.

NVIDIA gets a thumbs-up

Finally, shares of NVIDIA gained 5%. The high-profile maker of graphics chips got favorable comments from BofA/Merrill Lynch, which reiterated a buy rating on the stock and boosted its price target by $25 to a new level of $250 per share. Merrill believes that NVIDIA's data center products could benefit greatly from the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), and analysts also see a recovery for sales of gaming-related chips. With so much riding on AI technology in areas like self-driving vehicles and speech-related applications, NVIDIA expects to remain a leader in the industry.

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