The stock market once again found itself treading water for much of Tuesday's session. Investors seem to be in a holding pattern as they wait for the latest readings on monetary policy. The Federal Reserve is meeting this week to discuss interest rates, and although most market participants expect no change to result, they're hoping to see signs of what move might come next. That made most investors focus on individual companies, some of which had good news that lifted their shares dramatically. Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE:SPCE), Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), and AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.
Virgin Galactic keeps soaring to the stars
Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings rose 7%, extending the stock's winning streak to two days. Tuesday's move looked like follow-on buying following Monday's gains of 16%, which stemmed largely from bullish comments on the space tourism company from analysts at Morgan Stanley. Those analysts gave Virgin Galactic a rating of overweight and set a price target of $22 per share. Investors seem to be focused on the upside potential of the stock if Virgin Galactic can identify a target audience for its services and then execute in a timely, safe, and efficient way. Yet if the company fails, it's entirely possible that investors could lose their entire investment, making Virgin Galactic a risky proposition for typical shareholders.
Sanofi makes a strategic shift
Sanofi saw its stock climb 6% after the drugmaker announced a major change in its strategic vision. Following its announcement Monday that it would acquire Synthorx in a $2.5 billion deal, Sanofi said that it would decide to stop working on potential treatments for diabetes or cardiovascular disease in order to focus more sharply on its more promising areas. The strategic move also seeks to unlock savings on expenses, which Sanofi hopes will free up 2 billion euros in the next few years. With promising candidates like the recently approved Dupixent treatment for eczema, Sanofi has high hopes for the future, even as it takes steps to sell off non-core assets and reposition itself as a global leader in the pharmaceutical industry.
AutoZone drives higher
Finally, shares of AutoZone gained 7%. The auto parts retailer reported a nearly 6% rise in revenue during its fiscal first quarter compared to year-earlier results, with earnings per share climbing by a similar amount. Same-store sales were up 3.4%, easily topping forecasts among those following the stock. Investors had been nervous about potential pressure on profit margins, especially in light of tariffs. Yet the auto parts specialist was able to allay those fears, and going forward, AutoZone looks like it's in a strong position even if conditions in the industry become more challenging.