Friday was a good day on Wall Street, as major benchmarks climbed on hopes for a resolution to the long-standing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. The two nations haven't yet come to any final deal, but White House officials were upbeat about the prospects for progress in resolving some contentious issues. Some stocks dramatically outpaced the market's gains, and J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q), Farfetch (NYSE:FTCH), and PG&E (NYSE:PCG) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

J.C. Penney sees signs of improvement

Shares of J.C. Penney rose 7% after the long-struggling department store retailer reported its third-quarter financial results. J.C. Penney still faced plenty of challenges, posting a 10% drop in revenue on a 6.6% decline in adjusted comparable-store sales. However, the company's net loss for the quarter narrowed from year-ago levels, and CEO Jill Soltau pointed to promising early results from J.C. Penney's efforts to build traffic and offer a better merchandise mix and customer experience. The retailer still has a long way to go, but investors were glad to see at least some incremental progress during the quarter.

Clerk handing box and bag with J.C. Penney logo to customer across a deck at order pickup location.

Image source: J.C. Penney.

Farfetch cashes in on luxury

Farfetch's stock soared 29% following the release of third-quarter results from the luxury fashion technology platform. Farfetch reported a 90% rise in revenue, driven in part by a nearly 60% jump in gross merchandise value. The August acquisition of the New Guards Group brand platform also contributed about a quarter of Farfetch's sales for the period. The company's outlook is also strong, with expectations that gross merchandise value from the digital platform will grow 30% to 35% in the fourth quarter. Even with today's jump, though, Farfetch is still well below its IPO price from a little over a year ago.

Will PG&E get taken over?

Finally, shares of PG&E climbed nearly 11%. The California utility has been under pressure even since before it filed for bankruptcy protection, and some of those affected by recent rolling blackouts and fire-related problems are looking for state and local government entities to take over PG&E. It's uncertain what such a model would mean for current PG&E shareholders, but some believe just the threat of government intervention might spur a more realistic reorganization plan that could lead to a more favorable outcome for investors than the worst-case scenario of getting nothing.

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