Monday was a strong day for the stock market, as a combination of earnings, merger and acquisition activity, and hope for further interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve helped lift investor sentiment. The month of October has often spooked market participants given the number of historical crashes that have happened during that month of the year, and the rising prospects of pushing into November near all-time highs is a vote of confidence from the investing community. Good news from several companies helped send their shares upward by even more than the broader benchmarks. Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM), Spotify Technology (NYSE:SPOT), and Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Sanderson hopes to send chicken to China
Shares of Sanderson Farms jumped 16% on reports that the Chinese government is likely to allow imports of U.S. poultry as part of trade negotiations between the two countries. Tariffs and other trade restrictions have created gluts of many food products in the U.S. market, helping to bring down prices for consumers but hurting revenue for producers. If China becomes a significant market for exporting chicken, then it should lead to less supply for U.S. consumers, pushing prices higher. Moreover, with health concerns over swine flu causing some in China to consider shifting from pork toward eating more chicken, the move couldn't come at a better time for Sanderson Farms and its peers.
Spotify posts a profit
Spotify Technology saw its stock soar 16% following the release of its third-quarter financial report. The biggest news from the music-streaming specialist was a surprise profit, as most investors had expected Spotify to keep losing money as it had three months ago. Revenue jumped 28% year over year, and the number of monthly active users climbed by 57 million to 248 million. Premium subscriber counts were 31% higher than at this time last year. The news allayed fears that rising competition in music streaming would weigh on Spotify's results, but it looks like the company is making the right moves to remain relevant in the rapidly shifting space.
Roku gets a nod from Wall Street
Finally, shares of Roku climbed 10%. The streaming video space got favorable comments from analysts at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, who initiated their coverage of the stock with a rating of buy and set a $154 price target. Merrill analysts noted that Roku's shift away from its initial emphasis on hardware was the right strategic move, and it's now getting more of its revenue from recurring sources like video ads. Roku does face competition, but analysts believe that it won't be as tough for the company to maintain its market share as many fear. Moreover, as adoption of streaming television becomes more widespread, Roku will have a continuing opportunity to woo more customers into its fold -- and potentially accelerate its already impressive growth-driven gains.