Black Friday brought modest declines for the major benchmarks, as the few market participants who didn't choose to take a four-day weekend over Thanksgiving reacted nervously to comments from the U.S. in support of Hong Kong. For the most part, though, investors largely remained on the sidelines. Some good news from individual companies helped produce some significant moves higher among stocks. Tech Data (TECD), St. Joe (JOE), and Sibanye-Stillwater (SBSW -0.55%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Tech Data gets a better buyout
Shares of Tech Data climbed 12% after the technology distribution specialist got better terms on a takeover bid. Apollo Global Management improved its previous offer to buy Tech Data, boosting the per-share cash bid from $130 to $145. That puts a value of $6 billion on Tech Data's business. Apollo's sweetened deal was reportedly in response to a rival bid for Tech Data from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which apparently had made a $140-per-share offer. The back-and-forth action shows just how hungry cash-rich companies are to make acquisitions, and it'll be interesting to see if further interest in Tech Data appears in the days ahead.
St. Joe gets an invitation
St. Joe saw its stock rise 7% after the real estate company got an invitation to join a well-known stock index. The index managers at S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that it would add St. Joe to its S&P SmallCap 600 index, filling a vacancy that came open as a result of the merger between CBS and Viacom. With that merger opening a spot in the large-cap S&P 500 index, S&P Dow Jones Indices took a mid-cap stock to add to the S&P 500 and then picked an existing small-cap to replace the mid-cap vacancy. The Florida-based real estate specialist has had a following among value investors for quite a while, but it'll still have to work hard to realize its full potential.
Sibanye-Stillwater rides palladium higher
Finally, shares of Sibanye-Stillwater gained 7%. Sibanye has exposure to multiple precious metals, as its ownership of Montana's Stillwater Mining gives it significant holdings of platinum and palladium. Palladium in particular has performed extremely well lately, climbing above the $1,800-per-ounce mark in the past week to hit unprecedented levels. The platinum-group metal is a key component in catalytic converters, and the rarity of palladium makes the market vulnerable to supply squeezes from time to time. Even with the gains, though, Sibanye trades well below its levels from the mid-2010s.